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Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Dysaphis newskyi


Dysaphis newskyi

Hogweed mealy root aphid

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

Identification & Distribution:

Colonies of Dysaphis newskyi are attended by ants which tent the colony on the basal leaf sheaths and root collar of Heracleum sphondylium (common hogweed).

Adult apterae of Dysaphis newskyi are pinkish to lilac grey and wax dusted (cf. Anuraphis subterranea apterae which are greenish-brown to pinkish-brown and not wax-dusted). Hairs on the third antennal segment are maximally 27-56 μm long, distinctly longer and more acute than those on abdominal tergite 3. The antennae always have secondary rhinaria with 12-55 on segment III, 0-20 on IV and 0-3 on V (cf. Dysaphis lauberti which only has secondary rhinaria in alatiform apterae with dark cross bands on abdominal tergites I-IV). Abdominal tergite VII almost always has a pair of marginal tubercles (cf. Dysaphis lauberti which rarely has marginal tubercles on abdominal tergite VII). The siphunculi are 1.2 - 2.6 times the length of the cauda and do not have close-set rows of minute fine spinules (cf. Anuraphis subterranea which have rows of spicules on their siphunculi). The body length of Dysaphis newskyi apterae is 1-5-2.7 mm.

The clarified slide mounts below are of adult viviparous female Dysaphis newskyi : wingless, and winged.

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

Dysaphis newskyi does not host alternate, but lives all year round on hogweed (Heracleum spp.). It can be found in ant-attended colonies on the basal leaf sheaths and root collar of its host. The species has been found in Britain, Austria and Italy and more recently in Poland and Finland.


Biology & Ecology:

Baker (2009) found it in Wales feeding at the root collar of Heracleum sphondylium in Porthkerry Park, Barry. The aphids were sheltered and attended by Lasius niger and Myrmica ruginodis. Blackman (2014) notes it has also been found in north-east England and Scotland. We initially recorded the species from southern England in error after confusing it with Anuraphis subterranea.


Other aphids on same host:

Dysaphis newskyi has been recorded from 4 Heracleum species (Heracleum austriacum, Heracleum dissectum, Heracleum sibiricum, Heracleum sphondylium).

Blackman & Eastop list more than 33 species of aphid as feeding on Heracleum species worldwide, and provide formal identification keys (Show World list). Of those, Baker (2015) lists 20 as occurring in Britain (Show British list).


Our particular thanks to Roger Blackman for images of his clarified slide mounts.

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


  • Baker, E.A. (2009). Observations of aphids (Aphidoidea) new to Wales. British Journal of Entomology and Natural History 22, 235-246. Abstract