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Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Rhopalosiphoninus latysiphon


Rhopalosiphoninus latysiphon

Bulb-and-potato aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Rhopalosiphoninus latysiphon are shiny dark olive green with very strongly swollen shiny black siphunculi (cf. Rhopalosiphoninus staphyleae, which have mainly pale siphunculi). The antennae are longer than the body, with the terminal process about 4.5 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI. Secondary rhinaria are absent. The longest hair on antennal segment III is about 1.0 times the basal diameter of that segment. The rostrum reaches to behind the hind coxae. The apical rostral segment is about twice the length of the second hind tarsal segment. The first tarsal segment has hairs distributed (from foreleg to hind leg) 3-3-2. The siphunculi are slightly shorter than 0.3 of the body length, and they are 3-4 times the caudal length. The basal 0.33 and the apical 0.1 of each siphunculus is cylindrical, but the remainder is very swollen, 3.7-4.8 times as thick as narrow basal part (cf. Rhopalosiphoninus staphyleae, which has the swollen part no more than 3.2 times thicker than the narrowest part). The cylindrical apical part of the siphunculi is reticulated, and the flange is well developed. The cauda is triangular, pointed, with 5 hairs. The body length of adult Rhopalosiphoninus latysiphon apterae is 1.4-2.5 mm.

First image above, copyright Ad Sonnemans, under a public domain (CC0) licence.
Second image copyright Aphidnet, under a creative commons licence.

Rhopalosiphoninus latysiphon alatae have dorsal abdominal markings which are shiny olive-green to black; among these is a large quadrangular patch on tergites III-IV. Antennal segment III has 16-27 rather large secondary rhinaria along one side, almost in one row; segments IV & V have no rhinaria. The siphunculi are slightly thinner than in the apterous female.

For more pictures of Rhopalosiphoninus latysiphon see:

Rhopalosiphoninus latysiphon feeds on bulbs, especially tulips (Tulipa) and Gladiolus, potato (Solanum tuberosum) tubers in store, and on roots of many plants including potatoes and various ornamentals. It also feeds on etiolated runners growing in darkness under stones, as in sterile bromegrass (Bromus sterilis) & field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis). It has been implicated in the transmission of at least 4 plant viruses. Populations are anholocyclic. No sexual morphs have been observed. Rhopalosiphoninus latysiphon has a near cosmopolitan distribution, being found in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Australasia, North and South America, and parts of Africa (Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa).


Other aphids on the same host

Rhopalosiphoninus latysiphon has been recorded on 3 Solanum species (Solanum melongena, Solanum nigrum, Solanum tuberosum).

Rhopalosiphoninus latysiphon has only been recorded on Tulipa spp. (undefined)


We are grateful to Ad Sonnemans & AphidNet for permitting use of their images of Rhopalosiphoninus latysiphon.

We have used the keys and species accounts of Davidson (1912) & Heie (1994), together with information from Roger Blackman & Victor Eastop in Aphids on Worlds Plants. We fully acknowledge these authors 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


  • Davidson, W.M. (1912). Aphid notes from California. Journal of Economic Entomology 6, 404-413 (p. 408)Abstract

  • Heie, Ole E. (1994). The Aphidoidea (Hemiptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. V Faune Entomologica Scandinavica 28. E.J. Brill.