Biology, images, analysis, design...
Aphids Find them How to ID AphidBlog
"It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important" (Sherlock Holmes)

Search this site

Hormaphidinae : Nipponaphidini : Reticulaphis foveolatae


Reticulaphis foveolatae

Nepal-fig scale aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Reticulaphis foveolatae are elliptical, 1.7-1.85 times longer than wide (cf. Reticulaphis rotifera, which has the body broadly ovate, 1.1-1.4 times as long as its maximum width). They are coloured black with a purplish-blue burnish. Previous workers have reported no marginal wax, but the photos below reveal a very narrow marginal wax deposit. The antennae are very short, rather stout, with segment III twice as long as wide, rounded at the tip, with 2 minute rhinaria. The eyes are submarginal with 3 facets. The prosoma (= head+thorax+abdominal tergite I) is distinctly reticulated; it has 3 transverse furrows, and bears 10 pairs of thick, strongly curved pale yellow marginal or submarginal hairs, bent to rear, with serrate or fan-shaped apices (cf. Reticulaphis inflata, which has marginal hairs with blunt or acute apices). The legs are short, with the front and middle legs concealed under the body. The hind tibiae are black, expanded at the tip and the tarsi are longer than wide, and not segmented. Abdominal tergites II-VII are also reticulated, and lack siphunculi. Abdominal tergite VIII is an equilateral triangle, with 4 hairs. The cauda is knobbed, constricted basally, and the subanal plate is deeply bilobed, each lobe with 5-7 setae. The body length of Reticulaphis foveolatae adult apterae is only 0.4-0.6 mm.

Images above by permission, copyright Akihide Koguchi, all rights reserved.

Immatures of Reticulaphis foveolatae are also elliptical, but coloured bright orange-yellow (see second picture above, which includes an adult giving birth - albeit the newborne is out of focus). Other morphs (such as alate viviparae and sexuales) are unknown.

Image above by permission, copyright Akihide Koguchi, all rights reserved.

Reticulaphis foveolatae is found on the undersides of leaves of Nepal fig (Ficus sarmentosa= foveolata, see picture above) and on Ficus benjamina. Ficus spp. are the secondary hosts of Reticulaphis foveolatae - the primary host is most likely to be a Distylium species, but the life cycle is unknown. The species has so far been found in Japan, Taiwan and Java.


Other aphids on the same host

Primary host

Reticulaphis foveolatae, like other Nipponaphidini, is presumed to sexually reproduce on a Distylium species, of which 2 are known to host aphids (Distylium racemosum, Distylium stellare).

Secondary hosts

Reticulaphis foveolatae has been recorded on 2 fig species (Ficus benjamina, Ficus sarmentosa).


We are especially grateful to Akihide Koguchi for allowing us to reproduce the images of Reticulaphis foveolatae from his blog page.

Provisional identification of the specimens from the photos was carried out by Akihide Koguchi. We have used the keys and species account of Takahashi (1958) (as Reticulaphis fici foveolatae) and Yeh et al. (2008), along 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 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


  • Takahashi, R. (1958). Thoracaphis and some related new genera of Japan. Insecta Matsumurana 22 7-14. Full text

  • Yeh, H-T et al. (2008). Review of the East-Asian genus Reticulaphis (Aphididae: Hormaphidinae), with two new species. Zootaxa 1782, 34-48. Full text