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Aphididae : Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Linosiphon


Genus Linosiphon

Bedstraw aphids

On this page: Linosiphon galiophagum

Linosiphon [Macrosiphini]

Linosiphon apterae are shiny green spindle-shaped aphids, with rather long appendages. The head is smooth with well developed, diverging antennal tubercles. The antennae are 6-segmented, longer than the body, without secondary rhinaria in the aptera, and with only a few on antennal segment III in the alate. First tarsal segments have 3-3-3 hairs (fore-mid-hind). The dorsal cuticle of the aptera is smooth and slightly sclerotic; alatae have only dark marginal sclerite and small intersegmental sclerites. The siphunculi are pale or dusky, becoming darker towards the apex; they are tapering or cylindrical, often slightly swollen proximal to the subapical, reticulated zone. The cauda is pale and finger-shaped.

There are 4 species in the world, all of which are monoecious holocyclic on bedstraws (Rubiaceae). They are not attended by ants. Two species are European, one is found across Europe and into Asia, and one is North American.


Linosiphon galiophagum (Green bedstraw aphid) Europe, Asia

Adult apterae of Linosiphon galiophagum (see first picture below) are rather small, slender, spindle-shaped, shiny green aphids (cf. Linosiphon asperulophagum on Asperula, which have the dorsum almost wholly brown or black). The antennal tubercles are well developed, diverging, and smooth. The antennae are yellowish at the base, getting darker towards the apex. They are much longer than the body, and with the terminal process about 5 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI. There are no secondary rhinaria on segment III. The antennal hirs are short, about 0.3-0.4 times the diameter of segment VI. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 0.8-1.1 times the length of the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Linosiphon galii, which has RIV+V 0.6 to 0.7 times the base of antennal segment VI). The legs are mostly pale brownish yellow, but the tibiae have their apices dark brown. The siphunculi are more or less cylindrical, smooth, pale, greenish-yellow-brown becoming darker towards the apex, with a small distinct flange; they are about twice the length of the cauda. The cauda is rather slender, with usually 3 pairs of hairs and one dorso-apical hair. The body length of adult Linosiphon galiophagum apterae is 1.7-2.5 mm. Immatures (see second picture below) are quite thickly covered with a whitish-grey wax.

Linosiphon galiophagum alatae (not pictured) are shining green like the apterae, but with dark marginal abdominal and intersegmental pleural sclerites. There are no dark cross bands on the abdomen. They have 3-6 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III. The wing veins are indistinctly bordered with brown.

Linosiphon galiophagum are mostly found on white bedstraw (Galium mollugo), but they can be found on several other Galium species. They feed on the veins of the leaf undersides. The species is monoecious holocyclic with males recorded in Germany in October, although parthenogenetic individuals have also still been found in October. Linosiphon galiophagum is found over most of Europe as far south as Corsica and across Asia to west Siberia.



We have used the genus accounts of Heie (1994), and Blackman (2010) together with information from Hille Ris Lambers (1939) and 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 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. (2010). Aphids - Aphidinae (Macrosiphini). Handbooks for the identification of British insects 2(7). Royal Entomological Society, London. 414 pp.

  • Heie, O.E. (1994). The Aphidoidea (Hemiptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. V. Family Aphididae: Part 2 of tribe Macrosiphini of subfamily Aphidinae. Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 28 (p. 154)

  • Hille Ris Lambers, D. (1939). Contributions to a monograph of the Aphididae of Europe. II. The genera Dactynotus Rafinesque, 1818; Staticobium Mordvilko, 1914; Macrosiphum Passerini, 1860; Masonaphis Nov. Gen.; Pharalis Leach, 1826 Temminckia IV, 1-134.