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Aphididae : Hormaphidinae : Cerataphidini : Ceratoglyphina


Genus Ceratoglyphina

Ceratoglyphina aphids

On this page: Ceratoglyphina roepkei styracicola

Ceratoglyphina [Cerataphidini]

Ceratoglyphina apterae in life are pale brown, or black or with green longitudinal bands, or marbled green, with a white fringe of wax. The head is fused to the pronotum. The mesonotum, metanotum and abdominal tergites VII & VIII are distinctly defined. The other abdominal segments are marginally fused, but with furrows dorsally. The head has two horns, with sharp or rounded points. There are no wax glands on the head. The antennae have 4 or 5 segments, and the eyes are triommatidia. There are marginal wax glands on the prothorax and mesothorax, and in a straight line on the metathorax and abdominal segments I-VI marginally. The siphunculi are located on segment V, with 3-11 hairs. The cauda is without a constriction.

Ceratoglyphina alatae have two blunt horns on the head, shorter than in the apterae. The antennae are 5-segmented, 0.34-0.48 times the length of body. Annular secondary rhinaria are distributed 27-40 on segment III, 12-17 on segment IV, and 3-16 on segment V. The media vein of the forewing is once-branched, and the hind wing has two oblique veins. Tergite VII has 2 brown patches, and tergite VIII has a transverse brown band. The siphunculi are on segment V, with 3-11 hairs. The cauda is rounded, and either without a constriction, or with an indistinct one.

There are 7-8 species of Ceratoglyphina. Two species host alternate from Styrax (primary host) to bamboo (secondary host) as in other Cerataphidini, albeit many populations are probably anholocyclic on the secondary host. Two species are only known as anholocyclic populations on bamboo. One species remains all year on Styrax, one has only been found on Camellia, and one is presumably anholocyclic on Phragmites communis. On Styrax the aphids form peculiar, multiple-cavity galls which are initiated by a single first instar fundatrix. The fundatrix is initially confined in a single cavity surrounded by lobes. Some of the lobes are later differentiated into subgalls which are inhabited by the offspring of the fundatrix. The fundatrix never enters any of the subgalls. As the subgalls grow outwards, the entire gall opens, and the fundatrix is exposed again outside the now-closed subgalls. Any offspring of the fundatrix at this stage cannot enter any of the subgalls, and becomes an 'outside defender' of the gall. Members of the genus are found in India and much of East & Southeast Asia.


Ceratoglyphina roepkei (Dreadlocks gall aphid) Indonesia

The fundatrices of Ceratoglyphina roepkei feed on snowbell (Styrax paralleloneurus) inducing remarkable multiple-cavity galls (see pictures below of immature and mature galls). The gall looks like a peruke (= periwig) with long curly frizzy hair as in dreadlocks. Each gall consists of several long, slender, tubular subgalls, 15-20 cm long, their bases radiating from an attachment site on the stem near an axil bud. Each subgall is spirally twisted and has a longitudinal suture running from the base to the apex (cf. galls of Pseudoregma sundanica on Styrax paralleloneurus, which comprise up to seven globular sub-galls joined to a swollen central fundatrix's gall; and cf. galls of Cerataphis vandermeermohri on Styrax paralleloneurus, which consist of bunches of long, thin, dichotomously branched tubes).

Images above by permission, copyright Aoki & Kurosu (2010), all rights reserved.

Apterae of Ceratoglyphina roepkei (not pictured) in the gall have a small, broadly oval body with rather long hairs. The antennae have 5 segments, and are without secondary rhinaria. The eyes are comprised of 3 facets. The frons has 2 conical spines. The rostrum reaches to just past the mesocoxae, with the apical rostral segment very acuminate (=tapering to a sharp point). The siphunculi are small, about half as long as wide, and placed on small cones.

The alate of Ceratoglyphina roepkei (not pictured) has a broad head, with very large red eyes. The ocelli are tuberculoid and protruding. The antennae are 0.40-0.44 times the length of the body, they are ringed by very fine spines, and they bear 18-26 secondary rhinaria on segment III, 7-10 on IV and 6-9 on V. The last antennal segment is longer than segment IV (Ceratoglyphina styracicola on Styrax suberifolius which has segment IV longer than V). Fore and midlegs have the first tarsal segment with 4 hairs. The hind leg first tarsal segment has a very short median spine and 2 long hairs. The abdomen has few hairs. Tergites VII & VIII are not thickened or sclerotized, except around hair bases (cf.Pseudoregma sundanica, which has these tergites thickened & sclerotized). The spinal hairs on tergite VIII, and often on VII, are sited on scleroites (cf. Ceratoglyphina styracicola, which has no scleroites on the abdominal tergum). The siphunculi are not placed on sclerotic black plates.

Ceratoglyphina roepkei lives without host alternation on Styrax paralleloneurus. Alate sexuparae have been found in the gall in February. The species has only been recorded in Sumatra, Indonesia.



Ceratoglyphina styracicola (Cauliflower gall aphid) Taiwan

The fundatrices of Ceratoglyphina styracicola feed on corkleaf snowbell (Styrax suberifolius) inducing multiple cavity galls consisting of several subgalls (see first picture below) (cf. Cerataphis jamuritsu, which produces single cavity galls). The subgalls are large, almost globular, somewhat like a compact cauliflower head, 55-80 mm in diameter, in clusters arising from the stem. Ramified coral-like projections develop from the inner wall of each subgall, and they outgrow the original subgall's cavity to form the 'head' outward. The outer surface of the gall is coated completely with white wax powder, probably due to the activity of numerous soldiers (cf. galls of Astegopteryx bambusae, Pseudoregma bambucicola and Pseudoregma koshunensis, all on Styrax suberifolius, which are not covered with white wax).

Inside each subgall on the primary host is a labyrinth of green plant tissue which maximizes the feeding area available to the aphids. These may number 200,000 per gall, and include yellowish-brown adult apterae, immatures developing normally, and strongly sclerotised 'biters' (soldiers).Their gall-dwelling apterae (not pictured) are described by Takahashi (1924) as being yellowish-brown with black eyes, pale antennae and legs. The antennae are 5-segmented. The rostrum almost reaches the second pair of coxae. The siphunculi are very short and the cauda is short, broadly rounded and not constricted at its base. The anal plate is not bilobed.

Images above by permission, copyright Aoki & Kurosu (2010), all rights reserved.

The gall grows very slowly and produces no alates within the first year. From the end of November of the next year, 16 months after the gall formation, the gall begins to produce alates. Once their production begins, the gall continues to produce alates until the end of May at the latest. Alatae (not pictured) are described by Takahashi (1921). The head and mesothorax are black, the eyes are reddish brown and very large, and the antennae are dusky and 5-segmented. The head is without horns. The rostrum reaches beyond the first pair of coxae. The first and second oblique veins of the forewings are united at their base, and the hind wings have 2 divergent obliques. Siphunculi are absent. The cauda is short, much wider than long, and the anal plate is not bilobed. They have 17-23 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, 6-9 on segment IV, and 4-8 on segment V. Antennal segment V also has a very small primary rhinarium (cf. Cerataphis brasiliensis on Styrax benzoin, which has only 0-4 secondary rhinaria on segment V, with the primary rhinarium, extending across more than half width of the segment).

The migrating alatae fly to bamboo where apterae are produced. Apterae on bamboo (see second picture above) are oval-bodied, grey-brown with pale brown legs with a flat fringe of white wax. The head of the aptera has a pair of forwardly-directed frontal horns. The frontal horns are at least twice as long as antennal segment II, and bear 8-10 hairs, the longest of which is 22-33 μm. The dorsal abdomen has only marginal rows of wax glands. The siphunculi have 4-6 surrounding hairs. The cauda is rounded and the anal plate is entire. Ceratoglyphina styracicola does not have soldiers on its secondary host.

From the end of May to early June the apterae on bamboo produce sexuparae which fly back to the primary host, Styrax. However, some probably persist on the secondary host throughout the year. Ceratoglyphina styracicola has only been recorded from Taiwan.



We are grateful to Utako Kurosu & Shigeyuki Aoki for providing images from Aoki & Kurosu (2010) for this page.

We have used the genus accounts of Noordam (1991) together with Aoki & Kurosu (2010),and Roger Blackman & Victor Eastop in Aphids on Worlds Plants. We fully acknowledge these authors and those listed in the reference sections 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


  • Aoki, S. & Kurosu, U. (2010). A review of the biology of Cerataphidini (Hemiptera, Aphididae, Hormaphidinae), focusing mainly on their life cycles, gall formation, and soldiers. Psyche 2010, Article ID 380381, 34 pp. Full text

  • Noordam, D. (1991). Hormaphidinae from Java (Homoptera: Aphididae). Zool. Verh. Leiden 270, 1-525. Full text

  • Takahashi, R. (1921). Aphididae of Formosa Part 1. Report of the Department of Agriculture Government Research Institute Formosa 20 p.94 (as Astegopteryx styracicola) Full text

  • Takahashi, R. (1924). Aphididae of Formosa Part 3. Report of the Department of Agriculture Government Research Institute Formosa 10 p.92 (as Astegopteryx styracicola) Full text