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Calaphidinae : Panaphidini : Sarucallis kahawaluokalani


Sarucallis kahawaluokalani

Crape myrtle aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

All adult Sarucallis kahawaluokalani viviparae are alate. These alatae (see two pictures below) are broad-bodied, pale yellow or yellow-green with dark longitudinal stripes on head and prothorax and a dark brown pterothorax. They have transverse dark marks on abdominal tergites I and II, incorporating the large paired tubercles, and distinctively marked forewings. The antennae are pale, with the apex of each segment darkened. The antennae are 0.53 times as long as the body, with a terminal process that is less than 1.5 times the base of antennal segment VI, and have 6-8 secondary rhinaria on segment III. The apical rostral segment (RIV+V) is the same length as the second hind tarsal segment (HTII). The head and thorax lack spinal tubercles. The forewings are marked with broad bands of fuscous, especially along and behind the main vein and along the branches of the media.

Note: Sarucallis kahawaluokalani = Tinocallis kahawaluokalani = Myzocallis kahawaluokalani.

First images above copyright Katja Schulz under a Creative Commons Attribution License.
Second image above copyright glmory under a public domain (CCO) licence.

The abdomen bears paired lateral tubercles with single hairs on segments I-IV, and spinal tubercles with single hairs on segments I & II. The spinal tubercles on abdominal tergite II (see second picture above, and two below) are unusually large and dark, and are united over more than half their length. Spinal hairs on segments III-VII are on black sclerites, with sclerite pairs III, V & VII much further apart than those in other pairs. The siphunculi are short, brown, truncated cones. The cauda is knobbed, and the anal plate is bilobed. The body length of Sarucallis kahawaluokalani alatae is 1.2-1.8 mm.

First image above copyright glmory under a public domain (CCO) licence.
Second image by permission Blackman, Aphids on Worlds Plants.

Immature Sarucallis kahawaluokalani (see three pictures below) are pale yellow with red eyes. The abdomen bears spinal and pleural rows of fuscous tubercles, displaced outwards on some tergites, each of which bears a black capitate bristle. The unusually large dark united spinal tubercles on abdominal tergite II, so prominent in adults, are absent (see second picture above, and two below). The siphunculi are pale.

First & second images above copyright glmory under a public domain (CCO) licence.

Image above copyright Kimberlie Sasan under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Sarucallis kahawaluokalani is monoecious holocyclic on the undersides of leaves of crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica, see image above). It has also been found on henna (Lawsonia alba). In repose the wings are carried flat over the back of the body as in Monellia caryae. Oviparae and alate males occur in September-October in the northern hemisphere, and in April-May in Australia. The species is native to east and south-east Asia, but has been introduced to Europe, Iran, Africa, North, Central & South America, and recently Australia.


Other aphids on the same host

Blackman & Eastop list 13 species of aphid as feeding on crape myrtle (=crepe myrtle, Lagerstroemia indica) worldwide, and provide formal identification keys (Show World list). Of those aphid species, Baker (2015) lists 9 as occurring in Britain (Show British list).


Damage and control

Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) is a popular ornamental, especially in municipal settings of mild-winter regions of the United States where Sarucallis kahawaluokalani is considered its most important pest - albeit damage is largely cosmetic. Aphid damage does not result in permanent damage to the plant and the aphid is not known to transmit any plant viruses to crape myrtle. What damage there is mainly results from the heavy deposits of honeydew if large aphid populations develop, such as in the pictures below.

Images above copyright Rebekah D. Wallace under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Black sooty moulds, (Capnodium spp.), grow on the honeydew (see second picture above). These are unsightly, and may also interfere with photosynthesis and cause early leaf drop. Aphid control measures include encouragement of the natural enemies or use of insecticidal soaps or systemic insecticides.


We are very grateful to Jesse Rorabaugh (glmory), Katja Schulz, and Rebecca Wallace for making their pictures of Sarucallis kahawaluokalani available for use. We also thank Roger Blackman for permission to reproduce some of his images.

We have used the keys and species accounts of Kirkaldy (1907) (as Myzocallis kahawaluokalani), Richards (1967) and Quednau (2001) (both as Tinocallis kahawaluokalani) 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


  • Kirkaldy, G.W. (1907). On some Peregrine Aphidae in Oahu (Hem.). Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society 1(3), 99-102 (p 101). Full text

  • Quednau, F.W. (2001). World review of the genus Tinocallis (Hemiptera: Aphididae, Calaphidinae) with description of a new species. The Canadian Entomologist 133, 197-213. Full text

  • Richards, W.R. (1967). A review of the Tinocallis of the world (Homoptera: Aphididae). The Canadian Entomologist 99(5), 536-553. Abstract