The taxonomy of aphids

There are 4700 species of aphid in the world. Specialists conduct in-depth studies on their taxonomy. However, good knowledge of their host plants is also a key factor in identification. The aphids belong to the order Hemiptera. They make up the superfamily Aphidoidea. According to Remaudière, this superfamily is spread over 3 families: the Phylloxeridae, Adelgidae, and, by far the largest one, the Aphididae.

The Phylloxeridae and Adelgidae are distinguished by a simpler wing venation, short antennae of 3 to 5 segments, absence of cornicles (or siphunculi) and a less prominent cauda. Their life cycles are quite distinctive.

Taxonomie famille

The Aphididae are characterized as follows:

  • antennae with 5 or 6 segments, the last one being formed of two parts, the base and the processus terminalis
  • cornicles may or may not be present
  • cauda often strongly developed
  • annual life cycle cycle with succession of several parthenogenetic generations and presence or absence of a sexual generation
  • annual life cycle with or without host alternation involving many different herbaceous or ligneous plants

This family is in turn divided into several subfamilies, 13 of which are represented in France: Eriosomatinae, Chaitophorinae, Lachninae, Drepanosiphinae, Myzocallidinae, Saltusaphidinae, Phyllaphidinae, Anoeciinae, Mindarinae, Phloeomyzinae, Thelaxinae, Pterocommatinae and Aphidinae (see classification).

The Morphology section sets out the criteria used for description of the different subfamilies.

In this folder

Modification date: 14 June 2024 | Publication date: 02 March 2010 | By: Evelyne Turpeau, Maurice Hullé, Bernard Chaubet