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Chaitophorinae : Chaitophorini : Chaitophorus viminicola


Chaitophorus viminicola

Dusky long-haired willow aphid

On this page: Identification & Distribution Biology & Ecology Ant attendance Other aphids on the same host Damage & Control

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Chaitophorus viminicola are elongate oval in shape (see first picture below). They are more or less blackish, with a vague paler median stripe which from the pronotum, usually down to abdominal tergite III, (it runs to tergite VI in our pictures below). Their antennae are dark brown, apart from most of segment III which is pale yellow. The length of antennal segment III is 3.0-4.2 times that of the base of antennal segment VI. The antennal hairs are rather numerous, fine, and long: the hairs on the inner side of segment III are up to 3 times the basal diameter of that segment, and the few hairs on its outer side are up to twice that diameter. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is rather slender, 1.0-1.2 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII), and has 10 or more hairs. Tergites I-VI are fused. The tergum has no reticulate ornamentation, but has irregularly placed blunt nodules (cf. Chaitophorus nigrae, which has a reticulate pattern on the pleural areas of abdominal tergites I-VI). The dorsal hairs are extremely long with fine, acute, apices (these long dorsal hairs can be readily seen in the first two pictures below). The femora of their fore-legs are yellowish brown, but the middle and hind hind legs have very dark femora - darker than the dorsal shield (cf. Chaitophorus longipes, which has all femora dark). All the tibiae have dark bases: they are brownish-yellow with slightly darkened apices. The first tarsal segment has 5 hairs (rarely 6) (cf. Chaitophorus viminalis, whose first tarsal segment has 6-7 hairs). The siphunculi are rather thin, pale brown, and placed on a small colourless membranous area. The cauda is slightly dark and very distinctly knobbed. The body length of adult Chaitophorus viminicola apterae is 1.9-2.5 mm.

Note: This species was described by Hille Ris Lambers (1960) and Richards (1972).

Images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

Alate viviparous females (not pictured) of Chaitophorus viminicola have a black sclerotic head and thorax. The abdomen has equally-wide, separate, black bands on all tergites, with rather small black marginal sclerites, and intersegmental dots. Antennal segment III is nearly smooth, and has 10-14 secondary rhinaria irregularly placed along one side; the other antennal segments have no secondary rhinaria. The terminal process of the alate is about 4 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI.

Chaitophorus viminicola feed on willow (Salix) species. It has so far only been recorded on white willow (Salix alba) and black willow (Salix nigra), but is probably also found on several other native American species. They most likely overwinter as eggs, but sexual forms have not yet been found. Chaitophorus viminicola is found in eastern states of the USA and in Canada.


Biology & Ecology

Ant attendance

The aphids shown in the pictures from Canada were being attended by an unidentified species of ant.

Favret et al. (2010) recorded the ant Crematogaster lineolata (see pictures below) as attending Chaitophorus viminicola on Salix alba var sericea in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina, USA.

Images above copyright Charley Eiseman under a Creative Commons license.

Sharma et al. (2013) recorded the invasive 'crazy ant' Nylanderia fulvaa as attending Chaitophorus viminicola on black willow (Salix nigra) in Florida, USA.


Other aphids on the same host

Chaitophorus viminicola has been recorded on 2 species of willow (Salix) species (Salix alba var sericea, Salix nigra), as well as on various (unidentified) Salix species.


Damage and control

There are no records of Chaitophorus viminicola causing any damage to Salix trees.


We are especially grateful to Claude Pilon for pictures of Chaitophorus nigrae (for more of her excellent pictures see).

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 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).

Useful weblinks


  • Favret, C. et al. (2010). Actual and inferred checklist of the aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae) of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with attendant ant and host plant associations. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 112(3), 381-403. Full text

  • Hille Ris Lambers, D. (1960). The genus Chaitophorus Koch in North America (Homoptera, Aphididae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 103, 1-30. Full text

  • Richards, W.R. (1972). The Chaitophorinae of Canada (Homoptera: Aphididae). The Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada 104 Supplement S87, 1-109. Abstract

  • Sharma, S. et al. (2013). Honeydew-Producing Hemipterans in Florida Associated with Nylanderia fulva (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), an Invasive Crazy Ant. Florida Entomologist 96(2), 538-547. Full text