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

Aphidinae : Macrosiphini : Wahlgreniella vaccinii


Wahlgreniella vaccinii

Cowberry aphid

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

Identification & Distribution

Adult apterae of Wahlgreniella vaccinii are shining greenish-yellow or yellowish-green. The head is sparsely spiculose, with the inner faces of the antennal tubercles parallel. The antennal tubercles are distinctly scabrous (cf. Wahlgreniella nervata, which has the antennal tubercles more-or-less smooth). Antennal segments III-V each have dark apices (cf. Myzus persicae, which has antennal segments III-V entirely pale). The antennal terminal process is 4.0-6.8 times as long as the base of antennal segment VI. The rostrum reaches just past the middle coxae, with the apical rostral segment (RIV+V) 1.1-1.3 times the second hind tarsal segment (HTII) and bearing 7-11 accessory hairs. The legs are yellowish brown, with the femora and tibiae distinctly darker towards their apices. The abdomen is somehat sclerotic, unpigmented or very faintly pigmented, without darker intersegmental sclerites. The siphunculi are 2.0-2.5 times the caudal length, and are swollen on the distal half. They are variably pigmented, with the basal part pale, the remainder either of the same colour or darker, sometimes with only the very apex dark. The cauda is always quite pale, rather slender, more or less constricted, slightly blunt, with 5-6 hairs. The body length of adult Wahlgreniella vaccinii apterae is 1.6-2.3 mm.

Images above copyright M. Alex Smith, CBG Photography Group under a Creative Commons License.

Wahlgreniella vaccinii alatae (not pictured) are rather like the apterous viviparae. The head and thorax are pale brownish sclerotic, and the abdomen only has pale brownish marginal sclerites and very small pleural intersegmental sclerites. The antennae are 1.0-1.4 times the body length and have about 11-17 flat, rather large secondary rhinaria in a line over the whole length. The siphunculi have a strongly attenuated stem, but a typically wide base, and are dusky to mottled-dark with most of the basal part pale. All the veins in the forewings, particularly the basal veins, are distinctly bordered with brown.

Wahlgreniella vaccinii feeds on the undersides of leaves of Vaccinium species, especially cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea). It has also been recorded from bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). The species is monoecious holocyclic, with yellow-orange oviparae and apterous males developing in late August-October. The cowberry aphid is found in Europe and North America.


Other aphids on the same host

Wahlgreniella vaccinii has been found on 2 Vaccinium species (Vaccinium uliginosum, Vaccinium vitis-idaea).

Wahlgreniella vaccinii has been found on 2 Arctostaphylos species (Arctostaphylos alpina, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi).


We are grateful to M. Alex Smith of the CBG Photography Group for making the images of Wahlgreniella vaccinii available for use under a creative commons licence.

Identification was done by the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics. We have used the species account of Hille Ris Lambers (1949) (as Wahlgreniella nervata ssp. vaccinii) and Heie (1980-1995), 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


  • Hille Ris Lambers, G. (1949). Contributions to a monograph of the Aphididae of Europe. IV. The genera Aulacorthum Mordv., 1914; Microlophium Mordv; Hyalopteroides Theob., 1916; Idiopterus Davis, 1909; Pentalonia Coquerel, 1859; Amphorophora Buckton, 1876; Wahlgreniella nov. gen.; Megoura Buckton, 1876; Megourella nov. gen.; Hyperomyzus Borner, 1933; Nasonovia Mordv., 1914. Temminckia 8, 184-323 (p. 258).