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Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Nasonovia wahinkae


Nasonovia wahinkae

Varicolored aconite aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Nasonovia wahinkae (see pictures below) have a pale abdomen, varying in color from shining green to green-brown-purple to orange-yellow, with numerous dusky spinal, pleural, and marginal sclerites, plus intersegmental muscle sclerites (cf. Macrosiphum euphorbiae & Delphiniobium species, which lack such sclerites). The antennae are 0.7-0.9 times the body length, with a terminal process 4.6-8.4 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI. There are 6-35 rather small, tuberculate secondary rhinaria, on antennal segment III, irregularly scattered mainly on the basal 0.33-0.67. The longest hair on antennal segment III is 1.2-1.6 times as long as the basal diameter of that segment. The apical segment of the rostrum is 0.9-1.1 times the second hind tarsal segment, and bears 8-17 accessory hairs. Chaetotaxy (=bristle arrangement) of the first tarsal segment is 3-3-3 hairs (fore-mid-hind). Spinal and marginal sclerites are present, often somewhat elevated like flat warts, and each usually bearing 1 hair. Marginal tubercles are absent. The siphunculi are pale, usually darker towards their apices, 0.07-0.09 times the body length and 0.9-1.25 times the cauda. The siphunculi are subcylindrical to slightly swollen, rather thick, scabrous or a little spinulose, and with a couple of rows of polygonal cells below the flange. The cauda is rather broad, tongue-shaped, sometimes constricted in its basal half, with 7-12 hairs. The body length of adult Nasonovia wahinkae apterae is 2.4-3.5 mm.

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

Alatae of Nasonovia wahinkae (not pictured) have marginal sclerites and intersegmental pleural sclerites on the abdomen. The antennae are dark, 0.8-1.1 times body length, with a terminal process 5.5-7.2 times the base of antennal segment VI. There are 41-63 tuberculate secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, 0(-1) on segment IV, and none on V. The longest hair on antennal segment III is 1.1-1.6 times the basal diameter of that segment. The apical segment of the rostrum is 0.95-1.1. times the second hind tarsal segment, with 8-12 accessory hairs. Siphunculi are rather dark, 0.07-0.08 times body length, and 0.8-1.2 times the caudal length.

Populations on cultivated Delphinium in Canada and Alaska differ in chaetotaxy and rhinarial number, and are regarded by Heie (1979) as a subspecies, Nasonovia wahinkae robinsoni. Nasonovia wahinkae ssp. wahinkae has 8-12 accessory hairs on the apical rostral segment, whilst Nasonovia wahinkae ssp. robinsoni has 13-17 hairs. A population in north-east Siberia (Chukotka) appears to be Nasonovia wahinkae robinsoni. There it produces sexual morphs in July on the pedicles, flowers and leaf undersides of Delphinium brachycentrum ssp. maydellianum.

Nasonovia wahinkae are monoecious on Aconitum columbianum and Delphinium occidentale. The species is holocyclic. Oviparae and alate males have been found on Delphinium occidentale in August-September in Utah. Jensen reports Nasonovia wahinkae can form very dense populations on its plants, but can also be found in small numbers on the lower leaves. It is found in the Rocky Mountains region in western USA.


Other aphids on the same host


We are grateful to Andrew Jensen, for making his images of Nasonovia wahinkae available for use under a creative commons licence.

We have used the species accounts given by Heie (1979) & Heie (1994) 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


  • Heie, E.O. (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 Supplement 9, 105 pp. Abstract

  • Heie, O.E. (1994). The Aphidoidea (Hemiptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. V. Family Aphididae: Part 2 of tribe Macrosiphini of subfamily Aphidinae. Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 28 (p. 20).