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Greenideinae : Greenideini : Greenidea ficicola


Greenidea ficicola

Hairy-tailed fig aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

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, and below) are greenish with pale appendages and siphunculi.

First image copyright Jeffrey W. Lotz, Florida Dept. Agric,,
second image copyright Ken Walker, Museums Victoria, both under Creative Commons licenses.

Greenidea ficicola is mostly found on fig (Ficus) species, but also occurs on common guava (Psidium guajava), Duabanga sonneratioides and possibly lychee (Litchi chinensis). These aphids 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.


Other aphids on the same host

Greenidea ficicola has been recorded on 28 fig species (Ficus ampelas, Ficus amplissima, Ficus aurea, Ficus auriculata, Ficus australis, Ficus benghalensis, Ficus benjamina, Ficus carica, Ficus cuneata, Ficus elastica, Ficus heteropleura, Ficus hispida, Ficus macrophylla, Ficus microcarpa, Ficus obscura, Ficus pumila, Ficus racemosa, Ficus retusa, Ficus rubiginosa, Ficus sarmentosa, Ficus semicordata, Ficus septica, Ficus sycomorus, Ficus thunbergii, Ficus variegata, Ficus vasculosa, Ficus virens, Ficus virgata).

Blackman & Eastop list 9 species of aphid as feeding on common guava (Psidium guajava) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys (Show World list). Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists 6 as occurring in Britain (Show British list).


We have made provisional 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 Ghosh & Agarwala (1993) and Halbert (2004), 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


  • Ghosh, A.K. & Agarwala, B.K. (1993). Fauna of India Homoptera: Aphidoidea. Part 6. Subfamily Greenideinae. Government of India. Abstract

  • Halbert, S.E. (2004). The genus Greenidea (Rhynchota: Aphididae) in the United States. Florida Entomologist 87 (2), 159-163. Abstract