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Aphidomorpha : Aphididae : Spicaphidinae


Subfamily Spicaphidinae

Biology and Morphology

On this page: Biology Morphology Genera


The subfamily Spicaphidinae has 13 species in 2 genera (Neosensoriaphis, Neuquenaphis). The single species in Neosensoriaphis feeds on Nothofagus obliqua. All species in Neuquenaphis feed on southern beeches (Nothofagus), with one species (Neuquenaphis valdiviana) in Chile also recorded on giant rhubarb (Gunnera).

Neuquenaphis similis aptera. Image by permission copyright Claudio Ramirez, all rights reserved.

All species are monoecious holocyclic with alate males and apterous oviparae - but several Neuquenaphis seem to feed on more than one Nothofagus species. There is often some waxy powder on the body.

Neuquenaphis edwardsi alate. Image by permission, copyright Claudio Ramirez, all rights reserved.

They are restricted to South America, with most species found in Chile. No fossil records exist of the Spicaphidinae.



Adult viviparae may be apterous or alate. The eyes of apterae are compound with the triommatidium well developed. The antennal tubercles are small or poorly developed. Antennae are mostly very elongate with the terminal process narrowed from its base to the apex of the last antennal segment. The primary rhinarium is ciliate, and there are accessory sensoria adjacent to primary rhinarium of antennal segment VI. The apical rostral segment has secondary setae in addition to the primary ones. Dorsal abdominal setae are arranged as distinct rows of spinal, pleural and marginal setae, and sometimes with submarginal or interspinal rows. These setae are mostly on finger-like processes of various lengths. on each tergite; in Neosensoriaphis these processes are only on tergites VII and VIII. The siphunculi are on tergite V; they are densely reticulated at the apex with the reticulation sometimes extending further towards the base. The knob of the cauda is spherical to turnip-shaped. The anal plate is bilobate or incised.

Neuquenaphis blackmani aptera, alate. Copyright Nafria et al. (2019), images through Plazi; public domain.

In alates the ventral side of the head has an epicranial suture. The fore wings are normal. The hind wings have the bases of the two oblique veins widely separated. The fore femora are almost always enlarged and adapted for jumping. The first tarsal segments have 2 dorsal setae. The dorsal processes in the alate morph are usually much smaller than in the apterae; they are normally present at least on tergites I-III, but are sometimes undeveloped (e.g. Neosensoriaphis parva, Neuquenaphis schlingeri). The ovipara has the anal segment normal as in the vivipara, with 2 pairs of subsiphuncular wax gland plates of various surface structure but without perforations. pseudosensoria are present on all or only the hind tibiae. In Neosensoriaphis the body dorsum has a network of polygonal cells containing minute wax gland pores similar to those found in some of the Lizerinae.

Spicaphidinae 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 Claudio Ramirez and Nafria et al. 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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