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Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Macrosiphum parvifolii


Macrosiphum parvifolii

Waxy red-huckleberry aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Macrosiphum parvifolii (see picture below of fundatrix) are light green (or pink) with the head, thorax, abdomen & femora powdered with white wax (cf. Macrosiphum opportunisticum on Vaccinium and Menziesia, which are darker green or reddish pink without any wax covering). The antennal tubercles are well developed and diverging. The antennae are mainly pale, but the apical segment is dark (cf. Ericaphis wakibae on Menzesia, which has the antennae progressively darker beyond the base of segment III). Antennal segment III has 1-7 secondary rhinaria. The longest hairs on that segment are 0.5-1.0 times that segment's basal diameter. Segments IV + V are always slightly longer than segment III. The rostrum extends to the middle coxae, and the apical segment bears 5-9 secondary hairs. Abdominal tergites I-VI usually have small, rounded tubercles on one or more segments. The tibiae are dark-tipped and the tarsi are dark. There are 3-4 hairs on the first tarsal segment (HTI), and no spinules on the first or second tarsal segments (cf. Illinoia menziesiae which has 5 hairs on HTI and distinct spinules on those segments). The siphunculi are pale with dusky tips, cylindrical or slightly swollen below the reticulated portion, and constricted on the reticulated portion. The cauda is thick, parallel sided for most of its length, broadly rounded at the apex, and bearing 9-13 hairs. The body length of the adult Macrosiphum parvifolii aptera is 3.2-3.5 mm.

First image above copyright Andrew Jensen, second image copyright Walter Siegmund,
both under a creative common licence.

The alate Macrosiphum parvifolii (not pictured) is very pale except for the dark brown portions of thorax and head. The antennae have the extreme apices of segments III–V light brown, and VI entirely light brown. Antennal segment III has 6–12 secondary rhinaria on the basal half. Marginal sclerites are variably pigmented, usually the darkest on segment II, becoming paler toward the rear. The apical half of the siphunculi are slightly dusky to light brown.

Macrosiphum parvifolii is monoecious holocyclic on huckleberry (Vaccinium spp., see second picture above) and rusty menziesia (Menziesia ferruginea). Richards (1967) noted that it lives on the undersides of the leaves, and tends to be solitary. He found that each of the small leaves attacked bore a single adult specimen. It is found in British Columbia, Canada and in Oregon, Idaho, and Montana in north-western USA.


Other aphids on the same host

Blackman & Eastop give 2 Vaccinium species (Vaccinium alaskaense, Vaccinium parvifolium) as hosts for Macrosiphum parvifolii; to these Jensen (2012) added a further 3 (Vaccinium ovalifolium, Vaccinium scoparium, Vaccinium membranaceum).

  • Blackman & Eastop list 5 species of aphid as feeding on red huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium worldwide, and provide formal identification keys (Show World list). Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists none as occurring in Britain (Show British list).

    Macrosiphum parvifolii has been recorded on 1 species of Menziesia (Menziesia ferruginea)


    We are grateful to Andrew Jensen and Walter Siegmund for making their images available for use under a creative commons licence.

    We have used the species accounts given by Richards (1967) (for the aptera) and Jensen (2012) (for the alate) 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


    • Richards, W.R. (1967). A new species of Macrosiphum from British Columbia (Homoptera: Aphididae). The Canadian Entomologist 99(10), 1090-1092.Abstract

    • Jensen, A.S. (2012). Macrosiphum (Hemiptera: Aphididae) Update: One new species, one synonymy, and life cycle notes. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 14(2), 205-216.Abstract