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Aphididae : Greenideinae : Greenideini : Greenidea


Genus Greenidea

Greenidea aphids

On this page: Greenidea ficicola

Greenidea [Greenideini]

Greenidea aphids are characterized by having numerous stiff hairs on the tergum (=dorsal surface) and siphunculi. Their antennae are 6-segmented. Antennal hairs are partly long, partly short, with the long ones mostly directed inwards and the short ones outwards. The fore wing has the media vein twice branched, and the radius more or less curved; the hind wing has two oblique veins. The tibiae have 4 distinct spines, and the first tarsal joint has 7 hairs. The abdominal tergum is mostly sclerotic, pale to blackish brown with many stiff hairs which nearly always have serrated, forked or branched apices. Sometimes the bases of hairs are on circular differently-coloured spots on the tergites. The siphunculi are variable in shape and length, but in apterae are always more-or-less curved outwards, narrowing to the base and to apex. In alatae the siphunculi are more cylindrical on the basal half, less curved, and attenuated and curved outwards at the apex. The siphunculi are always covered with long hairs. Aphids in subgenus Greenidea have strong transverse reticulations covering most of the length of the siphunculi; in subgenus Trichosiphum these reticulations are only at the base. The cauda is more or less semicircular with, at its apex, a style-like process which may be only a small point, but is frequently twice as long as wide at base.

Greenidea feed on the twigs and undersides of leaves of various trees. Some of the most common and widespread species seem to be mainly or entirely anholocyclic, reproducing only parthenogenetically. However, other species produce winged males and oviparae in spring and summer. Species in the subgenus Greenidea are recorded from an area reaching from southern India to Java and southern China. Subgenus Trichosiphum has a similar southern distribution to Greenidea, but goes further north, and has been recorded from near Chabarowsk in south-eastern Russia. Species in subgenus Paragreenidea are found in India, China & Taiwan. Greenidea (Trichosiphum) psidii has been introduced to North & South America. Greenidea (Greenidea) ficicola has been introduced to many parts of the world, and now has a cosmopolitan distribution.


Greenidea ficicola (Hairy-tailed fig aphid)

Adult apterae of Greenidea ficicola (see first picture below) are yellowish brown to green to dark brown. Their antennae are 6-segmented, and get gradually slightly darker towards the apex. The antennal terminal process is 2.26-2.72 times as long as the base of the last antennal segment. The longest hair on antennal segment III is 2.0-3.4 times the basal diameter of that segment. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 1.84-2.42 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII). The abdominal dorsum is sclerotised with circular well-defined paler zones round the bases of each of the larger hairs. The dorsal hairs are large, thick and stiff, with singly or multiply-branched apices. Siphunculi have the base pale brown and get darker towards the apices. The siphunculi are curved outwards and are 0.31-0.41 times the body length (cf. Greenidea artocarpi in India, which has siphunculi a little over half the body length). There are numerous hairs on the siphunculi, as well as reticulations covering most of the length of the siphunculi (cf. Greenidea psidii in Asia & USA, which has reticulations only at the siphuncular base). The cauda has a distinct median conical process.

Both images copyright Jeffrey W. Lotz, Florida Dept. Agric, under a Creative Commons license.

Alatae of Greenidea ficicola (see second picture above and below) have 17-21 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, in a line and not crowded or touching each other (cf. Greenidea psidii, which has 20-31 rhinaria on that segment, some crowded and not in line with the others, often touching). There are narrow black cross bands over abdominal tergites I-III and broad, near-contiguous, cross bands over the posterior segments. The outward curving siphunculi of alatae are hairy as in the apterae, but are completely black and markedly longer at 0.55-0.76 times the body length. Immature Greenidea ficicola (see first picture above) are greenish with pale appendages and siphunculi.

Greenidea ficicola is mostly found on fig (Ficus) species, but also occurs on common guava (Psidium guajava), Duabanga sonneratioides and possibly lychee (Litchi chinensis). They feed on the undersides of young leaves, on the shoots or on the developing fruit. The species appears to be anholocyclic, and no sexuales are known. It is sometimes attended by ants. Greenidea ficicola is native to east and south-east Asia and Australia, but is invasive in South America, Mexico, southern USA, southern Europe and Africa.



We have used the keys and species accounts of Raychaudhuri (1956), together with information from 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 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


  • Raychaudhuri, D.N. (1956). Revision of the Greenidea and related genera (Homoptera, Aphididae). Zoologische Verhandelingen 31, 107 pp. Full text