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Aphididae : Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Delphiniobium


Genus Delphiniobium

Aconite aphids

On this page: Delphiniobium junackianum

Genus Delphiniobium [Macrosiphini]

Delphiniobium is a genus of large aphids which tend to have aposematic colouration because they sequester toxins from the host plant Aconitum. The antennal tubercles are well developed and the antennae are normally longer than the body with an extremely long terminal process. The thoracic spiracles are much larger than the abdominal ones. The siphunculi are usually dark at least distally, often with a swollen section at about the midlength. The distal part is reticulated. The cauda is dark and rather long.

There are eleven species in the Delphiniobium genus, mostly found in East Asia. One species, Delphiniobium junackianum, has a wider distribution from north-west and central Europe to west Siberia. It feeds on monk's hood (Aconitum) and Delphinium, and produces sexual forms in autumn.


Delphiniobium junackianum (Monkshood aphid)

Apterae of Delphiniobium junackianum (see first picture below) are shiny bluish-green. The legs are rather dark with distal parts of the femora, tips of tibiae and tarsi black, as are the antennae and cauda. The antennae are 0.9-1.1 times the body length, and the antennal terminal process is 9-12 times the length of the base of the sixth antennal segment. There are no dorsal sclerites on the abdomen. The siphunculi of Delphiniobium junackianum are mainly dark except at their bases, and have a swollen section at about midlength. They are 1.0-1.3 times the length of the thick blunt nearly cylindrical cauda The body length is 2.9-4.7 mm.

Guest images, copyright Nigel Gilligan, all rights reserved.

The monkshood aphid does not host alternate but spends it entire life cycle on monkshood (Aconitum) and Delphinium. The aphids live primarily on the upper parts of the stem and between the flowers. They are not attended by ants. Delphiniobium junackianum is found in north-west and central Europe, eastward to west Siberia.



We especially thank Nigel Gilligan for the images of Delphiniobium junackianum.

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).

Useful weblinks


  • Blackman, R.L. & Eastop, V.F. (2006). Aphids on the world's herbaceous plants and shrubs. Vols 1 and 2. John Wiley & Sons.