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Cryptosiphum artemisiae

Mugwort gall aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

The aphid Cryptosiphum artemisiae forms, and lives within, red globular leaf galls on mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris, see picture below).

Image copyright Gansucha, all rights reserved.

Cryptosiphum artemisiae adult apterae are almost globular, dark red, and powdered with greyish wax (see first micrograph below). The head, antennae, legs, tergite 8 and cauda have brownish pigmentation. The antennae are about 0.25 times the body length with a terminal process that is 0.3-0.7 times the length of the base of the last antennal segment. Like most other Artemisia feeding aphids, the terminal fused segment of the rostrum, (RIV+V), is acutely pointed with concave sides. The siphunculi are reduced to very small pores which are hardly visible, and the cauda is broadly rounded. The body length of adult Cryptosiphum artemisiae apterae is 1.1-1.9 mm.

The clarified slide mounts below are of adult viviparous female Cryptosiphum artemisiae - wingless and winged.

Micrographs of clarified mounts by permission of Roger Blackman, copyright AWP all rights reserved.

The Cryptosiphum artemisiae alate (see second micrograph above) is also powdered with wax. Its antennae are about 0.5 times body length, and segment III has about 15 secondary rhinaria along the entire segment.

Image copyright Gansucha, all rights reserved.

Cryptosiphum artemisiae feeds all year round on mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) or rarely on field wormwood (Artemisia campestris) forming red leaf galls. Oviparae and alate males are produced in October. It is found throughout Europe and Asia.


Other aphids on same host:

Cryptosiphum artemisiae has been recorded from 20 species of Artemisia.


We are very grateful to Victor Finchuk (Gansucha) for his images of the galls of Cryptosiphum artemisiae.

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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