This family is essentially represented by the genus Acer which covers a vast range of species

This genus is now classified in the family Sapindaceae.

The Acer or maples are deciduous trees or shrubs from temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

They can be recognized by their palmately lobed leaves and their winged fruit. These diakene or double-samara fruit are helical -often known as helicopters. This shape enables the seed to be driven away by the wind, sometimes over long distances.

In this genus more than 150 species have been recorded. Acer campestre is a spontaneous species in France, very common over the whole territory. Acer platanoides and Acer  pseudoplatanus have a distribution centred further east whereas Acer monspessulanum is Mediterranean. These are melliferous trees and their wood is used in cabinet making and joinery. Acer negundo, with origins in North America, has become naturalized along water courses in areas south of the River Loire. It is often planted as an ornamental tree.

The great diversity of forms, origins and points of attraction of maples mean they are used extensively in parks and gardens. Some are planted as single trees, others to create screens, hedges or wind-breaks. Some yield a superbly ornamental bark, highly decorative, especially from the onset of winter. Then there are the Japanese maples Acer japonicum, Acer palmatum, which can embellish a small garden or patio.

Two genera of aphids are specific to Acer:  Drepanosiphum and Periphyllus.

Frequent aphids

Drepanosiphum platanoidis
Periphyllus testudinaceus

Occasional species

Periphyllus acericola
Periphyllus aceris
Periphyllus californiensis
Periphyllus hirticornis
Periphyllus lyropictus
Stomaphis graffii

The photos below show the two species most frequently found on Acer and also Stomaphis graffiti, characterized by its very long rostrum, although rare.

Drepanosiphum platanoides
Large aphid, elongate, greenish with cornicles long and broad, both alate and apterous

Periphyllus testudinaceus
Brownish green aphid bristling with numerous long hairs, alate with dark dorsal stripes

Stomaphis graffii

Dark aphid with cornicles dark, reduced to a raised pore, characterized by a very long rostrum

Modification date : 07 February 2023 | Publication date : 31 January 2017 | Redactor : Evelyne Turpeau, Maurice Hullé, Bernard Chaubet