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Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Decorosiphon corynothrix


Decorosiphon corynothrix

Long-haired moss aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Decorosiphon corynothrix (see middle aphid in first picture below, and reddish brown aphid in second picture) are shiny olive, brownish yellow or reddish brown. The cuticle of the metanotum, and abdominal tergites I-V are fused into a sclerotic, but rather pale carapace. The antennae are 1.1-1.3 times the body length, with a terminal process that is about 2.6-2.9 times the base of antennal segment VI. Secondary rhinaria are distributed 0-1 on segment III, 0-12 on segment IV and none on segment V. Hairs on body and appendages are very long, with a spatulate distal part (cf. Pseudacaudella rubida and Myzodium spp., which have normal length hairs) The rostrum reaches behind the hind coxae, with the apical rostral segment (RIV+V) 1.5-1.6 times the second hind tarsal segment (HTII). The siphunculi have a subapical constriction and a well-developed apical flange (cf. Muscaphis musci, which has siphunculi with no subapical contriction, or flange). The siphunculi are strongly swollen distally to about twice their basal diameter, and are 2.3-3.1 times the caudal length. The cauda has a broad basal part and a slender distal part. Adult apterae of Decorosiphon corynothrix have a body length of 1.2-1.7 mm. Immatures (see left and right hand aphids in first picture above) are green to olive brown, with whitish wax dusting. The rupture lines in the cuticle which break at moulting are often very distinct, due to a denser wax coating.

First image above copyright Anders Albrecht, second image above copyright Henk Soepenberg,
both under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

The alate Decorosiphon corynothrix has about 47 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, 27 on segment IV and about 18 on segment V.

Decorosiphon corynothrix is monoecious on mosses, seeming to prefer species in the Polytrichaceae, especially the common haircap moss (Polytrichum commune). Other hosts include Polytrichum juniperinum & Polytrichum strictum, and also Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus in the Hylocomiaceae. It is found in peat bogs, and in damp places in coniferous and deciduous forests. It is often on Polytrichum interspersed in Sphagnum tussocks. The species is anholocyclic. Both adults and immmatures can be found all the year. It is not attended by ants. The long-haired moss aphid is found in Europe and in eastern North America.


Other aphids on the same host

Decorosiphon corynothrix has been recorded on mosses in both the Polytrichaceae and Hylocomiaceae, as well as on numerous unidentified mosses. We therefore first give the only available list for aphids on 'mosses', although it is likely to be incomplete (Nurudea species, plus others in the genera listed, probably use mosses as secondary hosts).

Decorosiphon corynothrix has been recorded on several species of mosses in the Polytrichaceae (Atrichum undulatum, Polytrichastrum formosum, Polytrichum commune, Polytrichum juniperinum, Polytrichum strictum).

Decorosiphon corynothrix has been recorded on 1 species of moss in the Hylocomiaceae (Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus).


We are grateful to Anders Albrecht and Henk Soepenberg for making their images of Decorosiphon corynothrix available for use under a creative commons licence.

We have used the species account given by Heie (1992), together with information from Albrecht (2015) 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 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


  • Albrecht, A.C. (2015). Identification guide to Nordic aphids associated with mosses, horsetails and ferns (Bryophyta, Equisetophyta, Polypodiophyta) (Insecta, Hemiptera, Aphidoidea). European Journal of Taxonomy 145 1-55. Full text

  • Heie, Ole E. (1992). The Aphidoidea (Hemiptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. IV. Family Aphididae: Part I of tribe Macrosiphini and subfamily Aphidinae. Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 25, 1-189. (p. 173).