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Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Macrosiphoniella glabra


Macrosiphoniella glabra

Shining green tarragon aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Macrosiphoniella glabra are shining shamrock green without wax powder (cf. Macrosiphoniella ludovicianae, which is dusted with greyish white wax). The siphunculi are mainly black but greenish basally, and the cauda and anal plate dusky green (cf. Macrosiphoniella artemisiae, which has a black cauda). The antennae are mainly black, but paler on segments I, II and the base of III. They are about 1.4-1.5 the body length with the terminal process about 3.0-3.1 times the base of antennal segment VI. There are 2-5 secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III. The rostrum reaches the third pair of coxae, with the apical rostral segment (RIV+V) shorter than the second hind tarsal segment. The abdomen is without visible sclerotization, but there are sometimes dusky areas at the bases of 6 rows of dorsal hairs. The legs are mostly black, apart from the basal half of the femora. The siphunculi are 1.4-1.7 times the caudal length (cf. Macrosiphoniella nitida, in Europe which has shorter siphunculi at 0.9-1.25 times the length of the cauda). The reticulated area on the siphunculi is unusually long at one third or more of the length. The cauda is tapering, or with a slight constriction near the base, and bears 3-4 lateral pairs of hairs. The body length of adult Macrosiphoniella glabra apterae is 1.8-2.3 mm.

Image above copyright Andrew Jensen, under a creative common licence.

The alate Macrosiphoniella glabra vivipara has a yellowish brown head and thorax, but is otherwise much like the apterous vivipara, except that the rostrum reaches the second pair of coxae. Antennal segment III has 10-15 secondary rhinaria which are weak and irregular in size.

Macrosiphoniella glabra lives singly or in small colonies on leaves and flowerheads of Russian tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus dracunculoides). Palmer (1952) considered this species rare and difficult to find, but Jensen in Aphidtrek reports he has found this "fast moving charismatic little insect" everywhere where he found its host plant. Macrosiphoniella glabra is monoecious holocyclic, with oviparae and apterous males appearing in September-October. It is a native American species, restricted to western USA from Washington to New Mexico.


Other aphids on the same host

Blackman & Eastop list 36 species of aphid as feeding on Artemisia dracunculus worldwide, and provide formal identification keys (Show World list). Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists 8 as occurring in Britain (Show British list).


We are grateful to Andrew Jensen for making his image of Macrosiphoniella glabra available for use under a creative commons licence.

We have used the species accounts given by Palmer (1952) (as Macrosiphum glabrum) and Jensen et al. (2020) 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 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


  • Jensen, A.S. et al. (2020). A review of the aphid genus Macrosiphoniella del Guercio, 1911 (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in the USA with description of a new species. The European Zoological Journal 87(1), 412-443, Full text

  • Palmer, M.A. (1952). Aphids of the Rocky Mountain Region: including primarily Colorado and Utah, but also bordering area composed of southern Wyoming, southeastern Idaho and northern New Mexico. Thomas Say Foundation, Denver. Full text