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Aphidinae : Aphidini : Aphis viticis


Aphis viticis

Chastetree aphid

On this page: Identification & Distribution Other aphids on the same host

Identification & Distribution

In spring and early summer adult apterae of Aphis viticis (see first picture below) are mottled dark & pale grass-green with brown siphunculi. In midsummer dwarf forms predominate, which are pale straw-coloured with pale siphunculi. The longest hairs on antennal segment III are 0.4-0.75 times the basal diameter of that segment. The apical rostral segment is 1.05-1.30 times the second hind tarsal segment (HTII), and tapers almost to a point (cf. the polyphagous aphid species Aphis fabae, Aphis gossypii, Aphis nasturtii, Myzus ornatus & Myzus persicae, which all have RIV+V with blunt or rounded apex). The hairs on the hind tibiae are all shorter than the width of the tibia at midlength. Abdominal tergites I & VII have marginal tubercles. The siphunculi are tapering, pale or dark, or darker towards apices, and are 0.8-1.7 times the caudal length. The cauda is pale with 6-13 hairs. The body length of adult Aphis viticis apterae is 0.8-1.7 mm.

Both images above copyright Savvas Zafeiriou under a Creative Commons licence.

Alatae of Aphis viticis have antennae 0.54-0.67 times as long as the body, with 4-8 secondary rhinaria on segment III, and 0-2 on segment IV. The abdomen is green, with sclerotized bars on tergites II-IV and VI-VIII.

Image above copyright Savvas Zafeiriou under a creative common licence.

Aphis viticis is monoecious on chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus). The species is holocyclic, with alate males. Colonies are assiduously ant-attended (see especially second picture above). It is found over most of southern Europe (including Spain, Mallorca, France, Italy, former Yugoslavia, and Greece) and the Middle East (Israel, Iran & Turkey).


Other aphids on the same host

Aphis viticis has been recorded on 1 Vitex species (Vitex agnus-castus)

Blackman & Eastop list 6 species of aphid as feeding on Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys (Show World list). Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists 5 as occurring in Britain (Show British list).


We are grateful to Savvas Zafeiriou for making the images of Aphis viticis available for use under a creative commons licence.

We have used the redescription of this species by Barbagallo & Stroyan (1982) together with information from Roger Blackman & Victor Eastop in Aphids on Worlds Plants. We fully acknowledge these authors (see references below) as the source for the (summarized) taxonomic information we have presented. Any errors in identification or information are ours alone, and we would be very grateful for any corrections. For assistance on the terms used for aphid morphology we suggest the figure provided by Blackman & Eastop (2006).

Useful weblinks


  • Barbagallo, S. & Stroyan, H.L.G. (1982). Osservazioni biologiche, ecologiche e tassinomiche sull'Afidofauna della Sicilia. Frustula Entomologica Nuova Serie 3, 1-182 (p. 91)