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Periphyllus hirticornis

Green maple periphyllus aphid

On this page: Identification & Distribution Biology & Ecology Other aphids on the same host Damage & Control

Identification & Distribution:

Periphyllus hirticonis apterae are light green or yellow-green with red eyes and no dark markings. The antennae are 0.7 times the body length, and have a terminal process that is 5 times as long as the last antennal segment. The two hairs on the base of antennal segment 6 are very unequal in length with the longer more than 4 times as long as the shorter (cf. Periphyllus obscurus which has the two hairs on the base of antennal segment 6 both long and fine, the longer one being 1.3-3.0 times the shorter). Some dorsal hairs have forked apices. The siphunculi are pale, longer than the second hind tarsal segment and strongly flared at the apex. The cauda is knobbed with 6-8 hairs, and is more than half as long as its basal width. The body length is 2-3 mm.

Periphyllus hirticornis alates are bright green with variably developed marginal plates, no dorsal cross bands, and brownish siphunculi and cauda.

The green maple periphyllus aphid lives on the undersides of young leaves, leaf petioles and developing seeds of field maple (Acer campestre). Colonies are often attended by ants. Aestivating nymphs with foliate marginal hairs are present in summer. Oviparae and alate males are produced in October-November. Periphyllus hirticornis is widely distributed in Europe.


Biology & Ecology

We have not found Periphyllus hirticornis to be generally common, but when and where it does occur, it can be abundant. Stroyan (1977) notes the species may be locally common but is little recorded.

The eggs hatch early in spring and the fundatrices give birth to viviparous females. The picture below shows a developing colony of Periphyllus hirticornis on field maple.

Nymphs produced in late spring aestivate rather than develop immediately. Aestivating nymphs are light green with leaf-like marginal hairs and red eyes. Despite this, we have found normal nymphs being produced in late June (see picture below).

In the autumn Periphyllus hirticonis produce oviparous females and alate males. After mating, the oviparae lay their eggs on the stems of field maples.


Other aphids on same host:

Periphyllus hirticornis has been recorded from 2 Acer species (Acer campestre, Acer monspessulanum).

Blackman & Eastop list 22 species of aphid as feeding on field maple (Acer campestre) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys.

Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists 17 as occurring in Britain: Aphis craccivora, Aphis fabae, Aulacorthum solani, Drepanosiphum acerinum, Drepanosiphum aceris, Drepanosiphum dixoni, Drepanosiphum platanoidis, Mimeuria ulmiphila, Periphyllus acericola, Periphyllus aceris, Periphyllus californiensis, Periphyllus hirticornis, Periphyllus obscurus, Periphyllus testudinaceus, Stomaphis graffii and Stomaphis longirostris.


Damage and control

Since field maple is not grown for wood, the green maple periphyllus aphid is seldom considered a pest. However in gardens and urban streets it can cause aesthetic damage because of honeydew production (Pons et al., 2003).


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


  • Pons, X. et al. (2003). Pests of ornamental plants in streets and public gardens of Lleida (Spain). Mitt. Biol. Bundesanst. Land- Forstwirtsch. 394. Full text