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Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Utamphorophora crataegi


Utamphorophora crataegi

Four-spotted hawthorn aphid

On this page: Identification & Distribution Biology & Ecology Natural enemies Other aphids on the same host

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Utamphorophora crataegi (see first picture below) are light lemon to canary-yellow, with two pairs of grass-green spots, one pair on each of abdominal segments I and IV. There are no secondary rhinaria on antennal segment III, and the hairs on antennal segment III are all less than half the basal diameter of that segment. There is no dark abdominal pigmentation. The legs are generally pale, with the tibiae light brown towards the apices, and the tarsi black at the tip. The siphunculi and cauda are the same color as the abdomen. The siphunculi are slightly to moderately swollen on the distal half and have no polygonal reticulation. The cauda is broad, tapering, rather acute and bears 3 pairs of lateral hairs, one of these pairs close to the tip. The body length of adult apterae is 1.7-2.3 mm. Immature Utamphorophora crataegi (see second picture below) closely resemble adult apterae.

Images above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

The alate Utamphorophora crataegi (not pictured) has the head and thorax pale, the thoracic lobes brown to dark golden brown, and the abdomen lemon-yellow, marked with 4 grass-green quadrate spots as in the aptera. It has no dark abdominal pigmentation There are secondary rhinaria on antennal segments III and IV.

Image above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

Utamphorophora crataegi feed on hawthorn (Crataegus species), often forming large colonies on twigs, shoots and leaves, causing curling when on leaves. There is no host alternation, and sexuales occur in September-October. Hottes & Frison (1931) describe it as "a comparatively rare species ... that feeds in small numbers upon the undersides of the leaves of Crataegus and apparently is never abundant enough to cause damage and attract attention." Palmer (1952), on the other hand, states "it is rather common, with infestations sometimes heavy and injurious". The species is widely distributed in North America.


Biology & Ecology

Natural enemies

Little seems to have been written about the natural enemies of the four-spotted hawthorn aphid. The colony photographed here was under attack from coccinellid larvae.

Image above by permission, copyright Claude Pilon, all rights reserved.

Presumably a batch of coccinellid eggs had hatched recently, and about 15 young coccinellid larvae were observed on one hawthorn leaf devouring the aphids (see picture above).


Other aphids on the same host

Utamphorophora crataegi has previously been recorded from 3 species of Crataegus (Crataegus crusgalli, Crataegus x lavallei, Crataegus uniflora), and with these observations also from Crataegus chrysocarpa.


We are especially grateful to Claude Pilon for pictures of Utamphorophora crataegi (for more of her excellent pictures see).

Identification of specimens photographed by Claude Pilon was confirmed by Eric Maw by microscopic examination and DNA analysis of preserved specimens. For taxonomic details we have used the keys and species accounts of Hottes & Frison (1931) (as Macrosiphum crataegi) and Palmer (1952) (as Amphorophora crataegi) 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 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


  • Hottes, F.C. & Frison, T.H. (1931). The Plant Lice, or Aphididae, of Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin 19(3), 123-447. Full text

  • Palmer, M.A. (1952). Aphids of the Rocky Mountain Region: including primarily Colorado and Utah, but also bordering area composed of southern Wyoming, southeastern Idaho and northern New Mexico. Thomas Say Foundation, Denver. Full text