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Giant conifer aphidsSpecies Overview: Cinara acutirostris Cinara brauni Cinara cuneomaculata Cinara cupressi Cinara curvipes Cinara juniperi Cinara laricis Cinara piceae Cinara piceicola Cinara pinea Cinara pini Cinara pruinosa
A very large genus sometimes assigned to its own subfamily, with species on conifers of the families Pinaceae and Cupressaceae. Many of the species (150) are native to North America, but there are also 55 species found in Europe and Asia. Cinara aphids do not host alternate, but remain on their chosen host species throughout the year. They may feed on the roots, branches, or foliage, and are often attended by ants. Go to the 'read more' pages for more pictures and descriptions of other forms plus ant attendance and natural enemies.
Identification: Cinara acutirostris apterae are dark brown to pale bronze, with a pattern of dark markings and wax dust. The siphuncular cones are large, prominent and black. The body length is 2.6-3.6 mm.
The first image above shows an adult aptera Cinara acutirostris on a branch of Corsican pine in amongst the attendant ants. It has signs of the characteristic bronzy iridescence of the adult. The second image shows two alates (winged forms) of Cinara acutirostris. The alates are similar to the apterae, but have predominantly dark legs with pale areas closest to the body. The appearance of the species is very similar to Cinara pini and in the past we provisionally assigned those found on Corsican Pine to Cinara acutirostris, and those found on Scots Pine to Cinara pini. Our recent microscopic examinations suggest this was justified.
Found on twigs of Corsican Pine (Pinus nigra) and Stone Pine (Pinus pinea). Oviparae and males can be found in October, and the species overwinters as eggs laid on the needles. Found in western, southern and central Europe, China, and introduced to Argentina. It is commonly classed as an invasive species because of its introduction to countries along with Corsican Pine.
Identification: Cinara brauni apterae are golden brown with a dusting of wax powder which contrasts with an extensive shiny sclerotized dark patch on abdominal tergites 5-7 encompassing the siphunculi. Cinara brauni is a polymorphic species with regard to extension and general aspect of the sclerotization of the abdominal tergites 5-7 throughout the year.
This image above shows a Cinara brauni aptera feeding at the growing tip of Corsican pine. The black shiny patch at the end of the abdomen contrasting with the whitish wax powder is diagnostic.
It is found on current years growth and one-year-old twigs of Corsican pine (Pinus nigra). The egg-laying forms (oviparae) differ from viviparae in the presence of a pericaudal ring of wax and occur in autumn along with alate males. Formerly considered rare, Cinara brauni has been (accidentally) introduced into several countries through importation of Corsican pines, and is now considered an invasive species.
Identification: Apterae and alatae are darkish brown to orange-reddish, sometimes with dark green segmental markings. There is usually a dusting of greyish wax powder on the ventral surface of adults which may extend as stripes on to the dorsum of the abdomen. The siphuncular cones are small. The legs have the hind tibiae dark for up to two thirds their length; the femora are mostly dark brown but paler proximally. The body length is 2.4-4.6 mm.
The first image above shows an dark brown adult aptera on larch in July. Note the small siphuncular cones often surrounded by rather pale cuticle, and the lack of hair-bearing sclerites on abdominal tergites 2-6 (the latter distinguishes the species from Cinara laricis which occurs commonly on larch). The second image shows a more orange-brown aptera in October.
Found in small colonies on young twigs and shoots of larch (Larix) species. Oviparae have been found in October, and alate males as early as June. They are found in Europe and parts of Asia.
Identification: Cinara cupressi apterae are mainly orange brown to yellowish brown, with a blackish markings diverging back from the thorax. In life the dorsum is dusted with pale grey wax making a pattern of rather interrupted cross-bands. The whole aphid is clothed with fine hairs. There is also a rather indistinct blackish band between the black siphuncular cones. The distal parts of the femora and the bases of the tibiae are dusky or dark. The body length of Cinara cupressi apterae is 1.8-3.9 mm. The alate is similar in appearance to the apterous vivipara.
A key identification feature of Cinara cupressi is that the distal parts of the femora are dusky. This distinguishes the species from Cinara tujafilina which also occurs on cypress. Also there are only 4-6 hairs on the basal half of antennal segment six. This distinguishes the species from Cinara fresai which has 7-12 hairs in this position.
Cinara cupressi is found most commonly on cypress (Cupressus spp.) but also occurs on Thuja, Juniperus, Chamaecyparis and Widdringtonia. Oviparae and alate males occur in October in Europe. The cypress aphid is considered to be one of the world's 100 worst invasive alien species according to the criteria used by the international Union for the Conservation of Nature. It occurs in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. It causes severe direct feeding damage and is also a vector of Cyprus canker (caused by the fungi Seridium cardinale & Lepteutypa cupress) which have devastated some cypress trees populations.
Cinara curvipes occurs on the trunk or branches of fir (Abies spp.) and cedar (Cedrus deodora). Oviparae and alate males occure in September-October. It is widely distributed in North America. It was first recorded in the UK in the 1990s, and is now considered an invasive species in Europe.
Identification: Cinara juniperi apterae are rather more rounded in profile than most species. They are pinkish-brown with fairly uniform wax dusting not forming a pattern, which distinguishes Cinara juniperi from Cinara mordvilko where the posterior is wax free.
They feed on the needles and young shoots of juniper early in the season (see first picture), but later in the year they move to the base of shoots and young branches (see second picture).
Cinara juniperi feeds on the undersides of young shoots of Juniperus communis (juniper). Oviparae and apterous males occur in September-October in Colorado, USA. Elsewhere it is apparently anholocyclic. Cinara juniperi is found throughout Europe, as well as parts of the Middle East, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, western USA, and Canada.
Identification: Apterae of Cinara laricis are dark greyish-brown to reddish brown, usually with a wax bloom. Abdominal tergites II - VI are speckled with numerous dark sclerites dorsally and the hairs arising from them are conspicuous (thick and spine-like with raised conical bases). Siphuncular cones are blackish and conspicuous, but the pigmented radius may barely exceed the diameter of the opening. Body length is 3.0-5.1 mm. The ovipara (egg laying female) is similar to the viviparous female and has no pericaudal wax ring. The alate male of Cinara laricis is dark brown with a variable sclerotic pattern.
The first picture above shows the numerous dark sclerites on the dorsum of an adult aptera on a larch twig. The second picture is oriented to reveal the characteristic thick hairs on the dorsal body sclerites of abdominal segments II to VI.
Cinara laricis aphids are found in small dense colonies on the twigs of the lower branches, or on trunks of young larch trees (Larix spp). The oviparae and alate males occur in October-November. This is one of two common species of Cinara found on larch - the other is Cinara cuneomaculata. The speckled larch aphid is found throughout Europe, and is also recorded from the Far East (Mongolia, China, Korea and Japan).
Guest image (above-right), Copyright Ian Dawson, all rights reserved.
Cinara piceae forms large colonies in spring on the undersides of older branches and on trunks of Spruce (Picea spp.). Numerous alatae are produced in May-June. The oviparae appear in September-October, move to the current year's growth and lay wax-dusted eggs on needles. They often move to ground level or the roots in summer. They are found throughout Europe and in the Far East, and may vary greatly in abundance from year to year.
The first picture above shows an adult aptera of Cinara piceicola feeding on the stem in June. Note especially the two faint dorsal green bands, with a rather indistinct whitish line between them. The second picture below shows an alate vivipara feeding on spruce. It is similar in appearance to the apterous vivipara.
Cinara piceicola occurs on spruce (Picea spp.), especially Norway spruce, in colonies on bark of woody shoots between needle-bases in spring. They move to older branches and roots in summer. Numerous alatae are produced in May-June. Oviparae and apterous males occur from July onwards. Cinara piceicola is found in north, west and central Europe, and apparently China.
Identification: Apterae of Cinara pinea are shiny orange-brown early in the year and grey or dark brown later on. The body is finely spotted with black and dusted with wax especially along the dorsal midline and laterally. The patches of wax are especially prominent on the dorsum of the alate. Siphuncular cones are small to medium sized and reddish-brown or dark brown. The body size of the large pine aphid is unusually large at 3.1-5.2 mm.
The first picture above shows an adult aptera of Cinara pinea in June. It has the characteristic orange brown colouration of early summer. The second picture shows an alate. It has pronounced wax spots along the centre line of the dorsum, and the size and number of the dorsal scleroites are often reduced.
Cinara pinea are found on young trees and new shoots of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) although sometimes on other pine species including Corsican pine (Pinus nigra) in dry areas. Oviparae and males can be found in October. They are found throughout Europe and much of Asia and have been introduced to North America.
The first picture shows an aptera and nymph of Cinara pini on Scots pine. The aptera is greyish-green with black markings, and has a slight bronzy iridescence. The wax powder along the dorsal midline is clearly shown. The ventral surfaces are mealy grey. Immatures are more greenish, have less patterning and have no mealy deposit. The alate viviparous female (see second picture) has more prominent wax deposits, and is generally more pigmented than the aptera (although not in the specimen below).
Cinara pini is found on young shoots of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) in spring, and later on the undersides of older foliated twigs or branches. The species overwinters as eggs. The oviparae (egg laying females) and males can be found in October. Cinara pini is found throughout Europe, also in Siberia and Japan, and introduced to North America.
Identification: In life, apterae of Cinara pruinosa are dark green or brown, sometimes with a bronze metallic tinge. They are often wax-powdered along the sides of the dorsum and on the underside of the body. Immature forms may or may not be wax powdered. Theyu have prominent black siphuncular cones. The legs and body are conspicuously hairy.
The adults of Cinara pruinosa usually have blotchy blackish markings in a pattern resembling the letter omega on tergites 1-3 . There are sometimes further blackish marking between and in front of the siphuncular cones. The legs are pale except for the apical one third of the femora, and the bases and distal halves of the tibiae and tarsi. The hairs on the outer side of the hind tibia are quite long, with all or many of them exceeding 0.12mm and much more than 0.6 times the width of hind tibia at its midpoint. The tibial hairs are pale or dusky usually with unpigmented bases.
Cinara pruinosa occurs in small colonies on the woody twigs of Spruce (Picea spp.) in spring, but later found at base of trunk and on roots in ant shelters. Oviparae and alate males occur in September-October, but anholocyclic overwintering on roots also occurs. Throughout most of Europe eastward to Turkey, and in North America (where often recorded as palmerae).