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Eriosomatinae : Pemphigini : Prociphilus xylostei


Prociphilus xylostei

Eurasian woolly honeysuckle aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

The fundatrix of Prociphilus xylostei (not pictured) on the primary host (Lonicera) is yellowish green and wax-covered. The head, thorax and abdomen all bear wax plates. The antennae are 5-segmented, about 0.3 times the body length, with segment III longer than segment V. Siphuncular pores are absent. Offspring of the fundatrix (fundatrigeniae) (see two pictures below) are heavily waxed. They develop to emigrant alatae with a pale green abdomen. The emigrant alate has 6-segmented antennae about 0.3-0.5 times the body length, with a terminal process about 0.2 times the base of antennal segment VI. There are 18-27 secondary rhinaria on segment III, 4-8 on segment IV, and none on V or VI. There are wax gland plates on the head, thorax and abdomen. Again, siphuncular pores are indistinct or absent. Their body length is 2.3-3.7 mm.

First image above copyright Olafz, second image copyright Rene Stalder
both under a creative common licence.

Image copyright Kirill Ignatyev under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License.

Prociphilus xylostei alatae migrate from the primary host to the secondary host, the fine roots of Picea, or in North America the roots of Abies (but see note below). The apterous viviparous female (see first picture below) on the secondary host (fine roots of Picea) has 5-segmented antennae, 0.25 times the body length, with segment II about as long as III, longer than IV and a little shorter than V; the terminal process is 0.25 times the length of the base of antennal segment V. The rostrum reaches past the hind coxae, with the apical segment about the same length as the second hind tarsal segment. The body length of adult Prociphilus xylostei apterae is 0.8-1.2 mm. The alate viviparous female from the secondary host is similar to the emigrant alate from the primary host but with fewer wax gland plates and secondary rhinaria (7-22 on segment III, 4-12 on segment IV, 4-13 on V and none on VI).

Images above copyright Anders Albrecht under a creative common licence.

Note: The micrographs below of the aptera and alate from the secondary host are from North America. There Prociphilus xylostei live on the roots of Abies grandis. However, it seems there are some discrepancies between the redescription of apterae from Abies roots by Pike et al. (2012) and the description of European material from roots of Picea (Blackman).

Images copyright CBG Photography Group under a Creative Commons License.

The primary hosts of Prociphilus xylostei are honeysuckle, especially Lonicera xylosteum and Lonicera tatarica. The leaves of infested shoots are curled and get yellow spots in spring. The older nymphs move from the leaf rolls to the twigs, where they produce abundant wax as in the pictures above. All the nymphs mature to alatae which fly to the secondary host, the fine roots of spruce (Picea abies, Picea obovata) and (possibly) firs (Abies). Sexuparae return to Lonicera in October-November. The species is widespread in Europe, central Asia, India and China, and has been introduced to North America.


Other aphids on the same host

Primary hosts

Prociphilus xylostei has been recorded on 29 species of honeysuckle (Lonicera).

Secondary hosts

Prociphilus xylostei has been recorded on 6 spruce species (Picea abies, Picea engelmannii, Picea glauca, Picea ovovata, Picea sitchensis).

Prociphilus xylostei has been recorded on 1 fir species (Abies grandis).


We are grateful to Olafz, René Stadler, the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics and Anders Albrecht for making their images of Prociphilus xylostei available for use under a creative commons licence.

We have used the species accounts given by Heie (1980) and Pike et al. (2012) 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


  • Pike, K.S. et al. (2012). Eriosomatine aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae: Eriosomatinae) associated with moss and roots of conifer and willow in forests of the Pacific Northwest of North America. The Canadian Entomologist 144, 555-576. Full text

  • Heie, et al. (1980). The Aphidoidea (Hemiptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. I. Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 9, 1-236.