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Aphidomorpha : Aphididae : Neophyllaphidinae


Subfamily Neophyllaphidinae

Biology and Morphology

On this page: Biology Morphology Genera


The Neophyllaphidinae is a small subfamily of 18 species in 1 genus (Neophyllaphis). They feed on various species of conifers in the podocarp (Podocarpaceae) and monkey puzzle tree (Araucariaciae) families. There is no host alternation. Where sexual morphs are known, they generally occur in mixed colonies with parthenogenetic morphs, often over several generations in spring, summer or autumn. Unusually, several species of Neophyllaphis have winged oviparae (as do Aiceoninae, Phloeomyzinae and Tamaliinae). Aphids may be covered in life with waxy pulverulence, more rarely with fluffy wax secretions.

First image, Neophyllaphis varicolor colony, copyright Perry Babin under a Creative Commons Attribution License.
Second image, Neophyllaphis totarae colony, by permission, copyright Tim Holmes, Landcare Research.

They are found in the southern hemisphere and mountains of the tropics, extending northward into China and Japan. The subfamily is represented in South America by species in the subgenus Chileaphis. Neophyllaphis araucariae has been introduced into Hawaii, Neophyllaphis podocarpi into North America and Europe, and it seems, Neophyllaphis varicolor into Florida and Costa Rica. The group has various 'primitive' attributes, and may be related to the extinct genera Conicaudus and Sternaphis, both from Baltic amber.

Neophyllaphis varicolor alate. Image copyright Perry Babin under a Creative Commons Attribution License.



Adult Neophyllaphidinae viviparae may be apterous or alate. In both morphs, the antennae are 6-segmented (rarely 5-segmented), shorter than body, and with the terminal process less than half the length of base of antennal segment VI. The primary rhinaria are fringed; secondary rhinaria are absent from apterae and apterous oviparae. In the aptera the eye is usually only a triommatidium, sometimes with a few additional lenses; it is compound in the subgenus Chileaphis and in the ovipara of Neophyllaphis gingerensis. The apical rostral segment has 3 preapical pairs of primary setae. Frontal tubercles are absent. The head is often not separated from pronotum. The abdomen is without tubercles, with ventral and usually with dorsal setae.

Neophyllaphis varicolor aptera, mount. Image copyright Zuniga-Centeno under Creative Commons Attribution License.

Wax gland fields around the dorsal body setae are mostly developed as scattered pits or small cribriform discs, often on reticulated zones. The legs and antennae also have wax gland pores. First tarsi each have 5-9 (usually 7) ventral setae (alate forms often also have 2 dorsal setae). The empodial setae are slender, as long as the claws. The siphunculi on abdominal segment VI are porelike and slightly to distinctly elevated, with or without setae on or near the base. The subgenital and anal plates are spinulose and setose, and the anal plate is bilobed and sclerotic. The cauda has a more or less elongate knob, sclerotic except for a narrow dorso-median zone.

In Neophyllaphidinae alatae the secondary rhinaria are annular, semiannular or oval, do not encircle the entire segment and are usually present only on segment III. Alatae have compound eyes with triommatidia in ocular tubercles, and the median ocellus slightly ventral in position. The head in alatae has a V-shaped thickening. The forewings have normal venation, the radial sector is nearly straight, and the media is twice branched. The hindwings have 2 oblique veins.

Neophyllaphis varicolor alate. Image copyright Zuniga-Centeno under Creative Commons Attribution License.

The males are alate, as are the oviparae of most species. In oviparae the anal segment is modified bearing a large knobbed or rounded cauda covered with wax gland pores.

Neophyllaphidinae 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.

We also thank Perry Babin, Zuniga-Centeno and Tim Holmes for allowing us to reproduce their images, above. 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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