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Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Macrosiphum salviae


Macrosiphum salviae

Black sage aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Macrosiphum salviae are dark chestnut brown, with black antennae and siphunculi, and usually a central black dorsal abdominal patch (cf. Macrosiphum euphorbiae, which has pale antennae & siphunculi, and no dark abdominal patch; and cf. Macrosiphum mesosphaeri on Ocimum, which has dark siphunculi but with a paler basal section, and no dark abdominal patch). The antennae are on smoothly rounded antennal tubercles, and are 1.5 times the body length. The longest hairs on antennal segment III are 0.6-1.2 times the basal diameter of that segment (cf. Sitobion colei on Tetradenia riparia, which has those hairs 0.2-0.6 times the basal diameter). The rostrum reaches past the second pair of coxae. The apical rostral segment is 1.25-1.55 times the second hind tarsal segment, and bears 7-10 accessory hairs. The hind tibiae are entirely or mainly dark, and the femora are dark distally (cf. Macrosiphum euphorbiae, which has the hind tibiae and femora almost entirely pale). The tibial apices and tarsi are not densely hairy (cf. Klimaszewskia salviae on Salvia, which has tibial apices and tarsi densely clothed with long hairs). The first tarsal segments have 3 hairs (cf. Klimaszewskia salviae, which has first tarsal segments with 5 hairs). The siphunculi are about 1.8 times the length of the cauda. The body length of adult Macrosiphum salviae apterae is 2.0-2.5 mm.

Both pictures above copyright Jesse Rorabaugh under a public domain licence (CC0).

The alate (see second picture above) has a larger black dorsal abdominal patch, broken into broad abdominal bars. Antennal segment III bears 12-21 secondary rhinaria.

The images below are of clarified slide mounts of Macrosiphum salviae showing (first) the whole body and (second) the tibial apex and tarsal segments. The paucity of hairs on the tibial apices and tarsi distinguishes this species from Klimaszewskia salviae.

Both pictures above copyright Jesse Rorabaugh under a public domain licence (CC0).

Macrosiphum salviae feeds on a number of plant species found in the Lamiaceae (Inga, Salvia, Leonurus, Ocimum, Tetrademia). As far as is known the species does not host alternate. It may be holocyclic, but sexual forms have not yet been found or described. Macrosiphum salviae is found in the USA (California), Cuba, Central America (Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica) and South America (Puerto Rico, Venezuela).


Other aphids on the same host

Macrosiphum salviae has previously been recorded from 6 Salvia species (Salvia coccinea, Salvia cubensis, Salvia mellifera, Salvia misella, Salvia occidentalis, Salvia serotina), to which we can now add Salvia greggii and Salvia apiana.

Macrosiphum salviae has previously been recorded from 1 species of Tetradenia (Tetradenia riparia).


We are grateful to Jesse Rorabaugh for making his images of Macrosiphum salviae available for use under a public domain licence.

We have used the species account given by Bartholomew (1932) together with information from Jensen (1998), and 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


  • Bartholomew, P.S. (1932). Six new species of aphids, with records of other species new to California. Annals Entomological Society of America 25, 713-729. Abstract

  • Jensen, A. (1998). Redescription of Macrosiphum impatientis (Williams), another rose aphid from eastern North America with a key to related species (Hemiptera: Aphididae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 100(1), 32-42. Full text