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Aphididae : Eriosomatinae : Pemphigini : Patchiella


Genus Patchiella

Lime leaf-nest aphids

On this page: Patchiella reaumuri

Patchiella [Pemphigini]

The Patchiella genus has only one species of aphid, which host alternates between lime trees (Tilia) and the roots of plants in the Araceae family.


Patchiella reaumuri (Lime leaf-nest - Taro root aphid.)

The Patchiella reaumuri fundatrices lives in a compact leaf-nest pseudogall (see first picture below) formed by twisting and stunting the epicormic shoots of Tilia species (lime). The fundatrix (see second picture below) is very dark green or brown, plump-bodied with a body length of about 3.5 mm. The Patchiella reaumuri fundatrix has no siphunculi. The immature offspring, which initially cluster on and around the fundatrix, are green. As they mature, they develop wax tufts along the sides of the abdomen, and all develop to alatae (see third picture below).

The alate Patchiella reaumuri has numerous hairs on its antennae, and 0-3 secondary rhinaria on the fifth antennal segment. The body length of the alate is 2.1-2.7 mm. The apterae on the secondary host (not pictured) live on the rhizomes of Arum. They are whitish with a powder wax coating.

The lime leaf-nest aphid host alternates between its winter host lime (Tilia), where it forms a leaf nest, to its summer host - which, in Europe, is mainly cuckoo-pint (Arum maculatum). Males and females occur in autumn and eggs are laid on lime in autumn. Patchiella reaumuri has an apparently rather patchy distribution in Europe, including Britain, but is probably under-recorded in some countries. Populations in some countries (Hawaii, Solomon Islands) have lost their primary host, and reproduce parthenogenetically all year on the roots of Araceae. In those countries it is called the taro root aphid.



Whilst we make every effort to ensure that identifications are correct, we cannot absolutely warranty their accuracy. We have mostly made identifications from high resolution photos of living specimens, along with host plant identity. In the great majority of cases, identifications have been confirmed by microscopic examination of preserved specimens. We have used the keys and species accounts of Blackman & Eastop (1994) and Blackman & Eastop (2006) supplemented with Blackman (1974), Stroyan (1977), Stroyan (1984), Blackman & Eastop (1984), Heie (1980-1995), Dixon & Thieme (2007) and Blackman (2010). 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


  • Blackman, R.L. & Eastop, V.F. (2006). Aphids on the world's herbaceous plants and shrubs. Vols 1 and 2. John Wiley & Sons.