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Eriosomatinae : Pemphigini : Prociphilus osmanthae


Prociphilus osmanthae

Osmanthus gall aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Prociphilus osmanthae live in curled-leaf pseudogalls on Osmanthus. The leaves are rolled downwards at right angles to their midribs (see pictures below of galled leaves).

Images above copyright Dr László Érsek, all rights reserved.

Like other species of the genus, Prociphilus osmanthae has well developed wax gland plates on the back of the head, thorax and abdomen which secrete white wax fibres. The wax covers both immature and adult aphids and the interior of the pseudogalls (see first picture below). The adult apterae (see second picture below) have the head, thorax, antennae and legs dark gray and the abdomen greyish-green. The antennae are 5-segmented, shorter than the body, with the terminal process short, 0.19-0.23 times as long as segment V. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is 0.61-0.86 times the length of the second hind tarsal segment (HTII) (but see Note below). The siphunculi are very small, reduced almost to a pore. The cauda is broadly rounded. Ripka (2020) et al. obtained a mean of 1.77 mm. (s.d. 0.3) for the body length of adult apterae.

Note: Ghosh (1984) gives RIV+V as being 1.26 times as long as HTII, a much larger ratio than the value for Japanese specimens. Blackman noted in Aphids on World's Plants that some of the forms in India described under this name may not be Prociphilus osmanthae, but misidentifications of similar species such as Prociphilus ligustrifoliae.

Images above copyright Dr László Érsek, all rights reserved.

Alatae of Prociphilus osmanthae (not pictured) developing in spring colonies on Osmanthus spp. have a wax-covered olive-green abdomen. Their wings are infuscated along the costal margin and at the base and the forewing veins are narrowly dark-bordered (Essig & Kuwana, 1918). There are 27-31 secondary rhinaria on segment III, 9-12, on segment IV, 8-12 on segment V and 0 on segment VI. The body length of alatae is reported to be 3.3-4.0 mm.

In their native Japan Prociphilus osmanthae migrate in late May from Osmanthus (Osmanthus spp.) to an unknown secondary host. The species is found in Japan, and is also reported to occur in Meghalaya, India. Prociphilus osmanthae has recently been introduced to Hungary (Ripka et al., 2020).


Other aphids on the same host

Prociphilus osmanthae has previously been recorded on 3 species of Osmanthus (Osmanthus aquifolius, Osmanthus aurantiacus, Osmanthus heterophyllus), but with these records we can now add the garden variety Osmanthus x burkwoodii (Osmanthus delavayi x Osmanthus decorus).

Blackman & Eastop list 3 species of aphid as feeding on Osmanthus species worldwide, and provide formal identification keys (Show World list). Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists none as occurring in Britain (Show British list).


We especially thank Dr László Érsek for the images shown above of Prociphilus osmanthae in Hungary.

We have made provisional 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


  • Essig, E. O. & Kuwana, S. I. (1918). Some Japanese Aphididae. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 4 8(3), 35-112. Full text

  • Ghosh, A.K. (1984).The fauna of India and the adjacent countries. Homoptera Aphidoidea Part 3 Subfamily Pemphiginae. Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta. Full text

  • Ripka, G. et al. (2020). Egy új gubacstetu faj, a Prociphilus osmanthae Essig et Kuwana, 1918 (Hemiptera: Aphidoidea) megjelenése magyarországon. Növényvédelem 81(12), 537.