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Eriosomatinae : Fordini : Baizongia pistaciae


Baizongia pistaciae (=Baizongia pistaceae)

Pistacia horn gall aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Baizongia pistaciae produces large, horn-shaped galls (see first picture below) on Pistacia trees. Adult apterae of Baizongia pistaciae are plump-bodied, whitish or pale yellow with brown head, prothorax, antennae, legs and anal region pale brown, producing wax in short threads (see second picture below). The body and appendages have sparse hairs, all with pointed apices. They have no siphunculi. The body length of adult Baizongia pistaciae apterae is 1.6-2.3 mm.

First image above, by permission, copyright Brian Eversham all rights reserved.
Second image above copyright Luis Fernandez Garcia under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
Third image above, by permission, copyright George Konstantinou all rights reserved.

Alate Baizongia pistaciae, which develop in the gall from September to November (see third picture above), have a variably developed series of short dark abdominal cross-bars. The pterostigma has a dark central patch. The terminal process of the antenna is 0.35-0.45 times the length of the base of the last segment. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 0.6-0.9 times the length of the second segment of the hind tarsus. Dorsal hairs are all with pointed apices.

Baizongia pistaciae host alternates from pistachio trees (Pistacia) to grass roots. Among the grasses colonised are species of Agrostis, Avena, Corynephorus, Dactylis, Festuca and Poa. Baizongia pistaciae colonies are attended by ants, especially Lasius flavus, and may overwinter in ants' nests. Host-alternating populations occur in the Mediterranean area, and in north-west India. Anholocyclic populations are found on grass roots in many parts of the world including Europe, north Africa, Kenya, India and Pakistan.


Other aphids on same host:

Primary host

Baizongia pistaciae has been recorded from at least 7 Pistacia species, but its presence on Pistachio (Pistacia vera) is unconfirmed. It has not been recorded from Pistacia in Britain.

Blackman & Eastop list 10 species of aphid as feeding on turpentine tree (Pistacia terebinthus) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys (Show World list).

Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists 7 as occurring in Britain (Show British list).

Secondary hosts

Blackman & Eastop list 66 species of aphid as feeding on grass roots (Poaceae) worldwide (Show world list).

Paul (1977) found at least 16 aphid species recorded on grass roots in Britain (Show British list).


We especially thank Brian Eversham and George Konstantinou for permission to reproduce their images, shown above.

Whilst we make every effort to ensure that identifications are correct, we cannot absolutely warranty their accuracy. We have mostly made identifications from high resolution photos of living specimens, along with host plant identity. In the great majority of cases, identifications have been confirmed by microscopic examination of preserved specimens. We have used the keys and species accounts of Blackman & Eastop (1994) and Blackman & Eastop (2006) supplemented with Blackman (1974), Stroyan (1977), Stroyan (1984), Blackman & Eastop (1984), Heie (1980-1995), Dixon & Thieme (2007) and Blackman (2010). We fully acknowledge these authors 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).

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