woolly aphids and gall-making aphids

(Subfamily Eriosomatinae)

Overview
woolly aphid (Subfamily Eriosomatinae)
Photo by Greg Watson
 

Eriosomatinae is the subfamily of woolly aphids and gall-making aphids. There are 310 valid species in 48 genera worldwide. Fifteen species have been recorded in Minnesota, but the actual number of species in the state is probably much higher. They are found on the stems, leaves, and flowers of various plants. Some are vectors of plant diseases. Most cause just minor damage, but some are serious agricultural pests.

Eriosomatinae are plant parasitic aphids. Many have a complex life cycle involving multiple generations per year. Many have life cycles involving cyclical parthenogenesis, undergoing several generations that reproduce without mating before producing a sexually reproducing generation. After mating, the female lays just a single egg. Many alternate hosts each season, producing a winged generation that migrates to a second plant species. Most produce abnormal plant growths (galls) on the primary host plant. This is the feature that gives the subfamily the second of its two common names.

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Eriosomatinae are soft-bodied, usually somewhat pear-shaped, and to 516 (4 to 8 mm) in length. Most produce large amounts of a filamentous substance that appears woolly or waxy and covers all or nearly all of the body, both in the nymphal and adult stages. This is the feature that gives the subfamily the first of its two common names. However, this feature is not unique to this family. Nymphs feed in close aggregations, forming a large woolly mass for protection.

Some Eriosomatinae have a pair of very small finger-like processes (cornicles) near the end of the abdomen. Others have no cornicles. When wings are present they are membranous and are not covered with a whitish powder. The media vein (M) on the forewing is not branched. The hindwing is much smaller than the forewing. The last part of the leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, has two segments.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

 
  9/1/2021      
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Hemiptera (true bugs, cicadas, hoppers, aphids and allies)  
 

Suborder

Sternorrhyncha (plant-parasitic hemipterans)  
 

Infraorder

Aphidomorpha (aphids and allies)  
 

Superfamily

Aphidoidea  
 

Family

Aphididae (aphids)  
       
 

Until recently, the subfamily Eriosomatinae was placed in the family Eriosomatidae (=Pemphigidae). In 2008 it was transferred to the family Aphididae. The former family is no longer considered valid.

 
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Tribe Eriosomatini ?

Tribe Fordini ?

Tribe Pemphigini

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

woolly aphids

woolly aphids and gall-making aphids

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Gall

An abnormal growth on a plant produced in response to an insect larva, mite, bacteria, or fungus.

 

Tarsus

On insects, the last two to five subdivisions of the leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. On spiders, the last segment of the leg. Plural: tarsi.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Greg Watson

 
 

When I first saw the Wooly Aphid, it was flying and kind of looked like a piece of dryer lint floating!

  woolly aphid (Subfamily Eriosomatinae)  
           
 
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Other Videos
 
  The white garden fairy's are out to play today.
TheEmptyNester
 
   
 
About

Jun 18, 2015

I have no clue yet what these are. But they do look like mini fairy's. Some form of moth. Please let me know if you know what they are.

Update: They are Eriosomatinae (Woolly aphids)

Woolly aphids are sucking insects that live on plant fluids and produce a filamentous waxy white covering which resembles cotton or wool. The adults are winged and move to new locations where they lay egg masses. (Wikipedia)

 
  Woolly Aphid (Aphididae, Eriosomatinae) communal threat display
Morgan Jackson
 
   
 
About

Sep 30, 2013

When threatened (in this case by us flicking the branch they were feeding on), woolly aphid nymphs wave their abdomens and the waxy protuberances they produce back and forth. These aphids are feeding on American Beech (Fagus grandifolia), and are likely nymphs of Grylloprociphilus imbricator, the Beech Blight Aphid (http://bugguide.net/node/view/240499).

Sorry Miley, but insects have been twerking for millions of years!

More info on dancing woolly aphids by Becca Crew on her Scientific American Running Ponies - http://bit.ly/Rl936H

License
Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

 
  What are the white fuzzies flying around and the sticky stuff on your car? Woolly Aphid
NewsChannel 5
 
   
 
About

Sep 21, 2017

Amy Dismukes tackles the questions: what are the white fuzzies flying around and what's the sticky stuff on your car?

 
  Wooly Aphid Movie.avi
IncasOfEmergency
 
   
 
About

Dec 3, 2009

Wooly aphids gettin' down

 
  Woolly Aphids
tandemmatt
 
   
 
About

Apr 25, 2017

AKA Zombie cotton

 
       

 

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  Greg Watson
7/1/2021

Location: in my backyard in La Crescent, MN

When I first saw the Wooly Aphid, it was flying and kind of looked like a piece of dryer lint floating!

woolly aphid (Subfamily Eriosomatinae)

 
           
 
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Created: 9/1/2021

Last Updated:

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