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Aphididae : Saltusaphidinae : Thripsaphidini : Subsaltusaphis


Genus Subsaltusaphis

Sedge aphids

On this page: Subsaltusaphis picta

Subsaltusaphis [Thripsaphidini]

Subsaltusaphis are small to medium-sized long-bodied aphids. The empodial hairs are spatulate. Dorsal hairs are mostly very short and mushroom-shaped, with an incised "cap" so that they are stellate (=star-like) in dorsal view. The apterae lack secondary rhinaria. Alatae have a dark central abdominal patch on tergites 3-5, incised between segments.

There are 12 species of Subsaltusaphis in North America, Europe and Asia, all feeding on sedges (Carex species).


Subsaltusaphis picta (Painted sedge aphid) Europe, Asia

Adult apterae of Subsaltusaphis picta are whitish yellow, with dark tranverse intersegmental muscle sclerites. The variably developed longitudinal dark markings are less dark than the intersegmental muscle plates. The antennae are black beyond the basal half of the third segment, and the third antennal segment is 1.2-1.5 times the length of the sixth antennal segment (terminal process + base together). The body length of the adult Subsaltusaphis picta aptera is 2.4-3.0 mm.

Images copyright Thomas Legrand, all rights reserved

Subsaltusaphis picta alatae have 11-16 secondary rhinaria on the third antennal segment.

The painted sedge aphid lives on sedge (Carex sp.) and sometimes also on club rush (Scirpus) growing at the edge of water. Sexual forms have been recorded in autumn. Subsaltusaphis picta is widely distributed in Europe , and is also found in Kazakhstan and east Siberia.



Our particular thanks to Thomas Legrand for his images of Subsaltusaphis picta.

Whilst we make every effort to ensure that identifications are correct, we cannot absolutely warranty their accuracy. We have mostly made 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


  • Blackman, R.L. & Eastop, V.F. (2006). Aphids on the world's herbaceous plants and shrubs. Vols 1 and 2. John Wiley & Sons.