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Aphididae : Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Macchiatiella


Genus Macchiatiella

Tiger aphids

On this page: Macchiatiella itadori

Macchiatiella [Macrosiphini]

Macchiatiella are medium sized aphids. The antennae are longer than the body, with a very long terminal process. The apterae have secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, and alatae have them on III-IV (-V). The antennal tubercles are weakly developed, smooth and divergent. The abdomen may or may not have a complete sclerotic patch joined to the marginal sclerites. The spiracles of abdominal segments I and II are well separated. The siphunculi are tapering, and rather short for a member of the Macrosiphini. The cauda is arc-shaped or rounded, very short, with a length/basal width ≤ 0.5.

There are two or more Palaearctic species of Macchiatiella associated with buckthorn (Rhamnus) and knotweed (Polygonum). It is likely that there is some host alternation between these two plant genera. Currently-known species are found in North America and in the Far East.


Macchiatiella itadori (Tiger aphid) Japan, Korea, East Siberia

Adult apterae of Macchiatiella itadori are yellow, brownish yellow or green with a large shiny black dorsal abdominal patch (cf. Macchiatiella rhamni, which has no large black dorsal abdominal patch). Their eyes are dark brown. The antennal tubercles are smooth and divergent. The antennae, which are longer than the body, are greenish yellow apart from segments I & II, the apical 70% of III, the apical half of IV, the apical third of V, and all VI, which are blackish. Antennal segment III bears 3-7 circular secondary rhinaria in a row at the basal part of the joint. The rostrum reaches somewhat beyond the third coxae, and the apical rostral segment is 1.15-1.28 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment. The abdomen has a large blackish patch occupying the larger part of the dorsum, with no marginal spots. The femora, tibiae and tarsi are yellowish with dark brown apices. The siphunculi are black (cf. Macchiatiella rhamni, which has pale siphunculi). Macchiatiella itadori apterae are of moderate length, cylindrical, imbricated, and slightly broadening towards the base. The cauda and anal plate are much reduced to a small broadly rounded structure, its length less than 0.5 times its basal width, with several long stout hairs.

Images above by permission, copyright Akihide Koguchi, all rights reserved.

Alate Macchiatiella itadori (not pictured) are yellowish or greenish with the wing veins and pterostigma brownish, and the third oblique of the fore-wing slightly clouded. The antennae are longer than the body, with 39-52 irregularly sized secondary rhinaria, not in a regular row, over the whole length of segment III; 5-14 scattered on the middle of segment IV and 0-3 on segment V. The abdomen has a large blackish area at the middle of the dorsum, and three pairs of marginal sclerites on the segments.

Macchiatiella itadori is thought to host alternate from buckthorn (Rhamnus) as its primary host to knotweed (Polygonum spp.) as its secondary host. Note however, that this host alternation has yet to be confirmed experimentally. This aphid occurs in spring in large colonies on the leaves, tender shoots and hard stems of Rhamnus japonica, causing a considerable curl of the foliage (Hori, 1927). The first generation is wingless, but from the second generation apterae and alatae develop. Emigrant alatae are then thought to establish colonies on knotweed. In the autumn there is a return migration, males and oviparae appear about the middle of September. After mating the oviparae lay the overwintering eggs. Macchiatiella itadori is found in Japan, Korea and east Siberia.



We are especially grateful to Akihide Koguchi for allowing us to reproduce the images of Macchiatiella itadori from his blog page.

We have used the keys and genus/species accounts from Hori (1927), Miyakazi (1971), and Pike et al. (2003) along 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 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


  • Hori, M. (1927). Some new aphids from Hokkaido. Insecta Matsumurana 40(1), 75-83. Full text

  • Miyakazi, M. (1971). A revision of the tribe Macrosiphini of Japan (Homoptera: Aphididae). Insecta Matsumurana 34(1), 1-247. Full text

  • Pike, K.S. et al. (2003). Aphids of Western North America North of Mexico with Keys to Subfamilies and Genera for Female Alatae. WSU Extension Bulletin Office 282 pp. (p. 117)