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Drepanosiphinae : Drepanosiphini : Drepanaphis carolinensis


Drepanaphis carolinensis

Carolina painted maple aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

All adult viviparae of Drepanaphis carolinensis are winged. These adult alatae have the head and thorax reddish brown, and the abdomen fuscous brown with a pale tip (cf. Drepanaphis sabrinae, which is orange rather than brown). The head and pronotum each have 5 longitudinal white wax stripes, and the abdomen has many white wax dots, most pronounced at the base and tip of the abdomen. Antennal segments I and II, the distal ends of III, IV, V, and the base of VI are dark, the remainder are pale. Antennal segment III bears 7-16 secondary rhinaria. The terminal process is about 5.5 times the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Drepanaphis knowltoni, which has the terminal process more than 9 times the base). The front femora and the bases of the tibiae are dark. On the wings, the base of radius and pterostigma are dark bordered (except a central clear spot), and there are slight smudges at the distal ends of the veins, but otherwise the wings are clear (cf. Drepanaphis acerifoliae & Drepanaphis keshenae, which have wing veins fuscous bordered).

First image above copyright Vitaly Charny, second image copyright Larry Clarfeld,
both under a Creative Commons 3.0 License.

The abdomen has pale marginal sclerites on tergites I & II, and dark marginal sclerites on III-V. There are 4 pairs of well-developed uniformly dark brown spinal tubercles, those on tergite III being twice as long as the others, those on I, II and IV being approximately equal (cf. Drepanaphis acerifoliae which has tubercles on I & III approx. equal). Hairs on dorsal tubercles are pointed (cf. Drepanaphis acerifoliae, which has blunt hairs on the dorsal tubercles). The siphunculi are uniformly dark brown. The body length of adult Drepanaphis carolinensis is 1.6-2.2 mm.

Drepanaphis carolinensis is monoecious holocyclic on maple (Acer), mainly Acer saccharum, but sometimes on a few other Acer species. This is a common species in North America east of Rocky Mountains. It has been collected from New Brunswick, Canada, to Georgia, west to Iowa and Kansas, USA.


Other aphids on the same host

Drepanaphis carolinensis has been recorded on 4 species of maple (Acer Acer barbatum, Acer nigrum, Acer rubrum, Acer saccharum).


We are very grateful to Vitaly Charny and Larry Clarfeld for putting their images of live Drepanaphis carolinensis under a creative commons licence. We are also very grateful to Natalie Hernandez of Bugguide for discussions re identification of Drepanaphis species.

We have used the keys and species accounts of Smith (1941) & Smith & Dillery (1968), together with information from Roger Blackman & Victor Eastop in Aphids on Worlds Plants. We fully acknowledge these authors 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


  • Smith, C.F. (1941). The Genus Drepanaphis Del Guercio east of the Rocky Mountains. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society 57(2), 226-242 (p. 231). Full text

  • Smith, C.F. & Dillery, D.G. (1968). The Genus Drepanaphis Del Guercio (Homoptera: Aphididae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 61(1), 185-204. Abstract