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Aphidomorpha : Aphididae : Calaphidinae genera


Subfamily Calaphidinae

Biology and Morphology

On this page: Biology Morphology


The Calaphidinae are the second largest subfamily in the Aphididae with at least 358 species in 62 genera in 2 tribes (Calaphidini and Panaphidini). Most aphids in the subfamily feed on woody angiosperms belonging to 16 plant families including the birches (Betulaceae), beeches (Fagaceae), walnuts (Juglandaceae) and elms (Ulmaceae). Others feed on herbaceous plants belonging to the bean (Fabaceae) and grass (Poaceae) families. Calaphidinae are not usually attended by ants. Many aphid species belonging to this subfamily are economically important pests, causing injury and transmitting viral diseases to cultivated plants such as leguminous crops, fruit, and landscape trees. Some aphid pests, such as Tinocallis spp. have been dispersed from their geographic origins to different continents. Identification of calaphidine aphids can be difficult because of their considerable morphological variation based on seasonal changes and various biotic factors. They mostly have a Holarctic distribution.

Tinocallis nevskyi alate autumn form.



In most Calaphidinae genera all viviparae are alate, but apterous morphs are found in some genera. The antennae are 5- or normally 6-segmented, (but may be 4-segmented in fundatrices), and are frequently longer than the body. The antennal terminal process is at least half as long as the base of that segment, often much longer. The accessory sensoria of the last antennal segment are never scattered. The compound eyes in all morphs almost always have an ocular tubercle present. Segment II of the rostrum usually has a well sclerotized wishbone-shaped stiffening at base (if not then the siphunculi are very short or pore-like and apterae have a flat, cimiciform or highly arched body as in the subtribe Monaphidina). The head and pronotum are not fused. The body dorsum sometimes has capitate setae, but never stellate or mushroom-shaped setae (cf. Saltusaphidinae, which often has mushroom-shaped setae). Marginal tubercles are often present on the prothorax and on some or all of abdominal segments I-VIII. Spinal tubercles may be present on some abdominal segments. Like the Drepanosiphinae, tergite VIII never has a deep median incision. Empodial setae are mostly fan- or rod-shaped, seldom hair-like. The apical tibial setae are often developed as spines, particularly in the alate morph. Waxy secretion of the body is variable. The siphunculi are usually short, stump shaped or pore-like, situated on abdominal tergite VI or between V and VI. A few species have elongate siphunculi. The anal plate is bilobed or at least slightly emarginate posteriorly in midline or, rarely, without any trace of emargination. The cauda is knobbed, bluntly triangular or broadly rounded.

Euceraphis punctipennis fundatrigenia.

The alatae have secondary rhinaria present on antennal segment III and often also on segments IV and V. These rhinaria are more-or-less circular, and frequently also present in apterae. In alatae the wings are held tent-like at rest. The media of the fore wing has two or, more frequently, three branches. The cubitus-branches are separated at their bases. The hind wing has two oblique veins, rarely only one. The radial sector is often reduced or missing.

Myzocallis castanicola alate.

Calaphidinae males are mostly alate, rarely apterous. The apterous oviparae have the anal plate rounded and a cauda which differs from that of the viviparous form by having the knob little separated by constriction. The ovipara sometimes has the posterior abdomen moderately protruding and well developed subsiphuncular wax gland plates.

Browse list of genera


We particularly thank Colin Favret and Roger Blackman, who have provided invaluable assistance. Most of the subfamily diagnoses have been taken from Heie & Wegierek (2009b), Quednau (1999, 2003, 2010) and Blackman & Eastop (2021), with additional material from Russell (1982),Stroyan (1977), Stroyan (1984) and many others listed in the references for these pages.

Note: Any images on pages that are not individually credited are copyright InfluentialPoints under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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).

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