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Calaphidinae : Calaphidini : Calaphis leonardi


Calaphis leonardi

Gray-birch aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

All adult viviparae of Calaphis leonardi are alate. Their immatures (see first picture below) are apterous, and pale whitish green. The alate adults (see second picture below) are pale yellowish-green and orange, with brown-black antennae, tibiae and tarsi, and dark wing veins. The apical rostral segment (R IV+V) is usually less than 0.14 mm long, and is shorter than the second hind tarsal segment (HT II) (cf. Calaphis betulaecolens, which has R IV+V usually more than 0.14 mm long, and the same length or slightly longer than HT II). The forewing pterostigma is darkened on the inner margin, the radial sector is faint at the origin, cubital veins (Cu1a & Cu1b) heavy, and dark triangles at tips of the radial sector and branches of the media (cf. Calaphis flava, which has most veins bordered narrowly, but Cu1b quite heavily, and usually terminating in small brown triangles). The tibiae are dark (cf. Calaphis viridipallida and Calaphis flava, whose tibiae are pale except at the base and apex). The body length of adult Calaphis leonardi apterae is 3.0-3.33 mm. This species was first described by Quedneau in 1971.

Both images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

The first two pictures below show an immature and a mature ovipara of Calaphis leonardi found in October. The ovipara was actually found on a serviceberry bush (Amelanchier sp.) under the tree that the immature had been found on. It had probably fallen from (or crawled from) that tree while searching for suitable oviposition sites. The third picture below may represent a male of Calaphis leonardi. However, the possible male was not compliant with the current BOLD barcode for Calaphis leonardi, so its identity remains unconfirmed.

All images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

Calaphis leonardi only feeds on the leaves of gray birch (Betula populifolia). Sexuales occur in September-October - the oviparae are wingless with dark dorsal markings, but males have yet to be described. The gray-birch aphid is found in north-eastern USA and eastern Canada.


Other aphids on the same host

Calaphis leonardi has only been recorded from 1 species, Betula populifolia.

Blackman & Eastop list 11 species of aphid as feeding on gray birch (Betula populifolia) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys (Show World list). Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists 6 as occurring in Britain (Show British list).


We are especially grateful to Claude Pilon for pictures of Calaphis leonardi (for more of her excellent pictures see and, and, and).

We have made provisional 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 Quedneau (1971) along with Blackman & Eastop (1994) and Blackman & Eastop (2006). 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).

Useful weblinks


  • Quednau (1971). New and little-known aphids from eastern North America. Canadian Entomologist 103, 1083-1106. Abstract