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Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Nasonovia cynosbati


Nasonovia cynosbati = Nasonovia (Kakimia) cynosbati

Dogberry aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Nasonovia cynosbati are pale green, sometimes suffused with red (see largest aphid in first picture below, and the two largest aphids in background of second picture below). Their antennae have dark tips to segments III to VI. The antennal tubercles are well developed. The dorsal abdomen is pale, rarely with rather pale indistinct sclerites. Dorsal body hairs are pointed or blunt - never capitate (cf.Cryptomyzus spp., which have numerous capitate hairs). The abdominal spiracles are partially covered by cowl-like opercula so they appear crescent shaped (cf. Nasonovia ribisnigri, whose spiracles are open oval pores). The siphunculi are pale with dark or dusky tips and taper from the base to the apex (cf. Hyperomyzus spp., which have swollen siphunculi). The siphunculi are 1.2-2.3 times as long as the cauda, and usually have some imbrication, but only on the distal half (cf. Nasonovia houghtonensis, which has spicules over the whole length of its siphunculi). The cauda is triangular, pale or dusky, and usually has 5 hairs (cf. Nasonovia ribisnigri, which has 7 hairs on its cauda). The body length of adult Nasonovia cynosbati apterae is 1.8-3.0 mm.

Note: Nasonovia cynosbati appears to be a very variable species, or this name may be being applied to more than one species, or both (see Palmer, 1952, Heie, 1979, and Aphid Trek).

Images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

Alatae (not pictured) are pale green or, especially in more northerly populations, with variably developed dark cross-bands or a mid-dorsal patch. Immature Nasonovia cynosbati (see pictures below) vary between green, yellow and red, and have pale siphunculi.

Images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

Nasonovia cynosbati is found on wild and cultivated currant (Ribes) species. It has also been reported from some genera of Saxifragaceae (Heucheria, Tellima, Borykinia). The images shown here are of a population on Pennsylvania smartweed (Persicaria pennsylvanica). Dogberry aphid may be partially anholocyclic in California. It is not thought to host alternate, and overwinters as eggs laid on Ribes stems. Oviparae and alate males develop in September-October. Nasonovia cynosbati is widely distributed in North America except in the southern USA.


Other aphids on same host:

Nasonovia cynosbati has been recorded from 15 Ribes species (Ribes alpinum, Ribes aureum, Ribes cereum, Ribes cynosbati, Ribes divaricatum, Ribes leptanthum, Ribes malvaceum, Ribes montigenum, Ribes nigrum, Ribes quercetorum, Ribes rubrum, Ribes sanguineum, Ribes saxosum, Ribes speciosum, Ribes uva-crispa).


We are especially grateful to Claude Pilon for pictures of Nasonovia cynosbati.

Identification of specimens photographed by Claude Pilon were confirmed by Eric Maw by microscopic examination of preserved specimens. For taxonomic details we have used the keys and species accounts of Palmer (1952) together with Blackman & Eastop (1994) and Blackman & Eastop (2006)). 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


  • Heie, O.E. (1979). Revision of the aphid genus Nasonovia Mordvilko, including Kakimia Hottes & Frison, with keys and descriptions of the species of the world (Homoptera: Aphididae). Entomologica Scandinavica suppl. 9, 105 pp.

  • 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