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Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Microsiphoniella acophorum


Microsiphoniella acophorum

Brownish-black microsiphon aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Microsiphoniella acophorum are pear-shaped, shiny brownish black to black. A dark patch on the dorsum is apparent in cleared specimens. The antennae are dark beyond the basal two-thirds of segment IV. The terminal process is 3.1-4.5 times the base of antennal segment VI (cf. Microsiphoniella artemisiae, which has the terminal process 4.7-6.3 times the base of that segment). Antennal segment III bears 1-4 secondary rhinaria. The rostrum reaches the first abdominal segment. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 0.12-0.14 mm long, and not more than twice the diameter of the rhinaria. Dorsal abdominal hairs are fine-pointed, or blunt and spine-like, and not more than twice as long as the basal diameter of antennal segment III (cf. Microsiphoniella oregonensis, which has thick dorsal abdominal hairs, 2-3 times longer than the basal diameter, with expanded or fan-shaped apices). The femora are dark or dusky, especially the middle and hind pairs, but the tibiae are mainly pale. The siphunculi are pale, very short, and hardly longer than their basal widths. The cauda is broader than long, tapering, and bears numerous hairs. The body length of adult Microsiphoniella acophorum apterae is 1.0-1.5 mm.

Note: Jensen in Aphidtrek comments that it is not clear how many species of Microsiphoniella there are, and identification to species using available keys is generally challenging or misleading.

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

The alate Microsiphoniella acophorum (not pictured) is black, with dark antennae. Antennal segment III bears 5-6 secondary rhinaria. The siphunculi are cylindrical or slightly broader at their base, smooth and with a flange. The cauda is tapering, acute, shorter than broad, and bears 2 pairs of lateral hairs.

Microsiphoniella acophorum is monoecious holocyclic on the stems and leaves of big sagebrush (Artemisia (= Seriphidium) tridentata) and long-leaved sage (Artemisia longifolia). Oviparae and alate males occur in September-October. The species is found in the western USA.


Other aphids on the same host

Microsiphoniella acophorum has so far been recorded on just 2 species (Artemisia longifolia, Artemisia tridentata).


We are grateful to Andrew Jensen for making his images of Microsiphoniella acophorum available for use under a creative commons licence.

We have used the species accounts given by Smith & Knowlton (1938), and Palmer (1952), 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


  • 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. Full text

  • Smith, C.F. & Knowlton, G.F. (1938). The aphid genus Microsiphum in Utah and Idaho. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 31 (2), 162-166. Full text