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Aphidomorpha : Aphididae : Taiwanaphidinae


Subfamily Taiwanaphidinae

Biology and Morphology

On this page: Biology Morphology Genera


The Taiwanaphidinae are a small subfamily of aphids, with only 14 species in 2 closely related genera (Taiwanaphis, Sensoriaphis). The nine Taiwanaphis species feed on trees in various families, especially the myrtle family (Myrtaceae), in India and east and south-east Asia. In several Taiwanaphidinae species only alate viviparae are known, but this may be because apterous viviparae are well camouflaged on the stems and easily overlooked, whereas the alatae develop on the leaves. Four of the five species in genus Sensoriaphis feed on southern beech (Nothofagus) in Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand, and one feeds on Melaleuca in the Myrtaceae in Western Australia, where Nothofagus is no longer extant.

Sensoriaphis nothofagi colony. Image by permission, copyright Nicholas A. Martin, Plant & Food Research, all rights reserved.

Some Sensoriaphis species are ant attended (see picture). The occurence of sexual forms throughout the year is similar to that found in the Neophyllaphidinae.

Sensoriaphis nothofagi ant attended. Image by permission, copyright Nicholas A. Martin, Plant & Food Research, all rights reserved.



Adult Taiwanaphidinae viviparae may be apterous or alate. The body in life is without noticeable waxy powdering, and wax gland pores on the body are not discernible except for sometimes a few scattered pits. In apterae the eyes are compound, and the triommatidium is well developed. The antennal tubercles are poorly developed. The antennae have the terminal process narrowed from its base to the apex of last segment, with accessory sensoria adjacent to the primary rhinarium. The fore femora are normal and not adapted for jumping. The apical rostral segment has only primary setae, and wishbone-shaped stiffening on the second rostral segment is poorly developed or absent. In the aptera the head is often wholly or partly fused with the pronotum. The dorsum of the body is without processes in the paramedian zone, but in the apterous morph and alatoid nymph there are often short finger-like processes marginally on some, rarely all tergites except tergite V. Stigmatic plates of the abdomen are often shifted to the ventral side of the abdomen. The short stump-shaped siphunculi are on tergite V and are densely striate. The knob of the cauda is egg-shaped or turnip-shaped, with 1-2 setae sometimes placed on the apex. The anal plate is bilobate or incised.

Sensoriaphis nothofagi aptera. Image by permission, copyright Nicholas A. Martin,
Plant & Food Research, all rights reserved.

In the alate morph there is no epicranial suture on the ventral side of head. On the anterior margin of the pronotum there is a flat wart on each side bearing the anterior marginal seta. The first tarsal segments are without dorsal setae, and the apices of the tibiae are often densely spiculose. Fore wings are normal, but the hind wings have the bases of the two oblique veins widely separated. The oviparae are apterous, with the anal plate bilobate as in vivipara, and two pairs of densely striate subsiphuncular wax gland plates. They have pseudosensoria on all or only hind tibiae. The subgenital plate is large, with over 100 setae, similar to that found in Neophyllaphis. No fossil records seem to exist of the Taiwanaphidinae.

Sensoriaphis tasmaniae alate. Image by permission, copyright Kristi Ellington, all rights reserved.

Taiwanaphidinae 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 Katie Ellington and Nicholas A. Martin (Plant & Food Research) 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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