Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Cinara cupressi sensu lato
(Cypress aphid)



Cinara cupressi sensu lato (Cypress aphid)


  • Last modified
  • 27 March 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Cinara cupressi sensu lato
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Cypress aphid
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • C. cupressi sensu lato (Cinara cupressivora) is an aphid, most likely native to North America and Syria. It is reported as causing significant damage or as having been recently introduced to parts of Europe, Africa, S...

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Colony on branch of Cupressus lusitanica.
CaptionColony on branch of Cupressus lusitanica.
CopyrightWilliam M. Ciesla
Colony on branch of Cupressus lusitanica.
InfestationColony on branch of Cupressus lusitanica.William M. Ciesla


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Cinara cupressi sensu lato

Preferred Common Name

  • Cypress aphid

Other Scientific Names

  • Cinara canadensis Hottes and Bradley, 1953
  • Cinara cupressi (Buckton)
  • Cinara cupressivora Watson and Voegtlin, 1999
  • Cinara sabinae
  • Lachnus cupressi Buckton, 1881
  • Lachnus juniperinus Mordwilko, 1895
  • Lachnus sabinae Gillette and Palmer, 1924
  • Neochmosis cupressi

Summary of Invasiveness

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C. cupressi sensu lato (Cinara cupressivora) is an aphid, most likely native to North America and Syria. It is reported as causing significant damage or as having been recently introduced to parts of Europe, Africa, South America and the Middle East. At least one of the populations within C. cupressi sensu lato (Cinara cupressivora) is highly invasive, having become newly established on three continents in the last 25 years (since the 1980s). This has happened accidentally as the result of the introduction of whole plants for ornamental and/or forestry purposes. The aphids are very difficult to see and can easily be missed at quarantine inspection unless the inspector is alerted to their possible presence. Populations of cypress trees and other host plants have been decimated in some introduced areas.  

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Hemiptera
  •                         Suborder: Sternorrhyncha
  •                             Unknown: Aphidoidea
  •                                 Family: Aphididae
  •                                     Genus: Cinara
  •                                         Species: Cinara cupressi sensu lato

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page The taxonomy of C. cupressi sensu lato is controversial (Remaudière and Binazzi, 2003); it may contain several morphologically similar nominal taxa (Watson et al., 1999). Three of these taxa appear to be native to North America: Cinara sabinae on Juniperus sabina from Arizona, Colorado and Utah; Cinara canadensis on Juniperus virginiana from Ontario; and Cinara cupressi (Buckton) on Cupressaceae, possibly originating from California (Watson et al., 1999) but described from the UK (England). Lachnus juniperinus on Juniperus communis and Thuja occidentalis was described from Poland (Mordwilko, 1895). Eastop (1972) synonymized these taxa with C. cupressi (Buckton).

Watson et al. (1999) carried out a multivariate analysis of the morphology of C. cupressi sensu lato specimens from around the world. They concluded that some of the component populations might represent distinct species (e.g. C. sabinae and the previously undescribed pest population in Africa), although they cannot be satisfactorily distinguished morphologically.

On the basis of morphological and biological differences, Watson et al. (1999) described the aphid population damaging Cupressaceae in Africa and elsewhere, as a new species, Cinara cupressivora. They suggested that it probably originated on Cupressus sempervirens in an area between eastern Greece and just south of the Caspian sea (Watson et al., 1999). Part of the evidence supporting the separation of this population was the host-plant preferences. Also the areas of origin of the host-plants that were damaged most seriously, with the slow development of aphids on and serious damage being caused to hosts of New World origin. In addition, the faster development on and less serious damage to C. sempervirens and other hosts originating in Europe/Asia Minor. Watson et al. (1999) could not find any samples of C. cupressivora from North America. However, because C. cupressivora could not always be reliably separated from other members of C. cupressi sensu lato using morphological characters alone, Remaudière and Binazzi (2003) synonymized it with C. cupressi (Buckton).

It seems likely that C. cupressivora, C. sabinae and C. cupressi (Buckton) are good species, but are not reliably separable using morphological characters alone. It will probably require molecular studies to characterize the number and identities of distinct species within C. cupressi sensu lato. Once the number of taxa has been clarified it may be possible to find more reliable means of identifying them using morphological characters.


Top of page Members of C. cupressi sensu lato are brownish-grey aphids covered in long, slender hairs, including hairs on the conical siphunculi. They differ from most other species of Cinara in having the second segment of the hind tarsus shorter than its basal width; numerous hairs present on the subgenital plate; primary rhinaria on the antennae lacking any sclerotized rim; and only three hairs present at the tip of the processus terminalis. These characteristics place them in the subgenus Cupressobium (Eastop, 1972; Blackman and Eastop, 1994).

C. cupressi sensu lato are distinguished from other members of the subgenus, Cupressobium by having little or no pigment in the middle of the hind tibia and the presence of no more than four to eight setae on the base of antennal segment VI, confined to its basal half (Watson et al., 1999).

The different populations or taxa in C. cupressi sensu lato cannot be reliably separated using morphological characters alone, although Watson et al. (1999) provided a discriminant function that helps to identify some specimens of Cinara cupressivora. Their multivariate analysis also demonstrated that Cinara sabinae might be partially identifiable using morphology.


Top of page The likely composite character of C. cupressi sensu lato means that the distribution list provided here is a composite of the distributions of several potentially distinct species. Cinara sabinae has been recorded only from the USA (Arizona, Colorado and Utah); Cinara canadensis from Canada (Ontario) and the USA (Pennsylvania); and Cinara cupressi (Buckton) from California and Britain (Watson et al., 1999); and Lachnus juniperinus was described from Poland.

The known distributions of C. cupressi (Buckton) and Cinara cupressivora overlap in Britain only (Watson et al., 1999).

The distribution map includes records based on specimens of C. cupressi sensu lato from the collection in the Natural History Museum (London, UK): dates of collection are noted in the List of countries (NHM, various dates). The specimens from Ethiopia are Cinara cupressivora Watson & Voegtlin (i.e. members of C. cupressi sensu lato) and were collected in Addis Ababa from a heavy, localized infestation.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


IndiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-SikkimPresentAgarwala and Raychaudhuri, 1982
IsraelPresentIntroduced1980 Invasive Mendel and Golan, 1983; Halperin et al., 1988
JordanPresentIntroducedpre-1987 Invasive Mustafa, 1987
SyriaPresentNative Not invasive Watson et al., 1999
TurkeyPresentEastop, 1972; Watson et al., 1999
YemenPresentIntroducedpre-1999 Invasive Watson et al., 1999


BurundiPresentIntroduced1988 Invasive Ciesla, 1991; Watson et al., 1999
Congo Democratic RepublicPresentIntroduced1990 Invasive Ciesla, 1991; Watson et al., 1999
EthiopiaRestricted distributionIntroducedNHM, 2004
KenyaPresentIntroduced1990 Invasive Ciesla, 1991; Watson et al., 1999; IPPC-Secretariat, 2005
LibyaPresentIntroducedpre-1994Al Najar & Nefrya, 2000
MalawiPresentIntroduced1986 Invasive Ciesla, 1991; Watson et al., 1999
MauritiusPresentIntroduced1999 Invasive Watson et al., 1999
MoroccoPresentIntroducedpre-1994 Invasive Watson et al., 1999
RwandaPresentIntroduced1989 Invasive Ciesla, 1991; Watson et al., 1999
South AfricaPresentIntroducedpre-1993 Invasive Watson et al., 1999
TanzaniaPresentIntroduced1987 Invasive Ciesla, 1991; Watson et al., 1999
UgandaPresentIntroduced1989 Invasive Ciesla, 1991
ZimbabwePresentIntroduced1990 Invasive Ciesla, 1991; Watson et al., 1999

North America

CanadaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-British ColumbiaPresent1990Watson et al., 1999
-OntarioPresent1990Watson et al., 1999
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-ArizonaPresentNative1990 Not invasive Watson et al., 1999
-CaliforniaPresent1990Watson et al., 1999
-ColoradoPresentNative1990 Not invasive Watson et al., 1999
-PennsylvaniaPresent1990Watson et al., 1999
-UtahPresentNative1990 Not invasive Watson et al., 1999

South America

ArgentinaPresentOrtego, 2006
BrazilPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Sao PauloPresentIntroduced2000 Invasive Sousa Silva & Ilharco, 2001
ChilePresentPeña and Altmann, 2009
ColombiaPresentIntroducedpre-1991 Invasive Ciesla, 1991; Watson et al., 1999


BelgiumPresentIntroducedpre-1980 Invasive Latteur and Grasso, 1980
BulgariaPresentIntroducedpre-1988 Invasive Scheurer, 1991
FrancePresentIntroducedpre-1980 Invasive Rabasse and Grasso, 1980; Watson et al., 1999
GermanyPresentIntroduced Invasive Watson et al., 1999
GreecePresentWatson et al., 1999
ItalyPresentIntroducedpre-1978 Invasive Binazzi, 1978; Binazzi et al., 1998; Watson et al., 1999
NetherlandsPresentIntroduced Invasive Watson et al., 1999
PolandPresentWatson et al., 1999
PortugalPresentIntroducedpre-1996 Invasive Ilharco, 1996
SlovakiaPresentWatson et al., 1999
SpainPresentIntroduced Invasive Watson et al., 1999
UKPresentIntroduced Invasive Eastop, 1972; Ciesla, 1991; Watson et al., 1999

History of Introduction and Spread

Top of page The following dates of introduction relate to the countries where the aphids have been reported as causing significant damage or as recent introductions. The countries where the relevant population could be native or where damage has not been reported, or where the date of introduction was so early that it is not known, are not included.

In Europe: Italy, pre-1978 (Binazzi, 1978); Belgium and France, pre-1980 (Latteur and Grasso, 1980; Rabasse and Grasso, 1980); Bulgaria, pre-1988 (Scheurer, 1991); and Portugal, pre-1996 (Ilharco, 1996).

In the Middle East: Israel, 1980 (Mendel and Golan, 1983); Jordan, pre-1987 (Mustafa, 1987); and Yemen, pre-1999 (Watson et al., 1999).

In Africa: Malawi, 1986 (Ciesla, 1991); Tanzania, 1987 (Ciesla, 1991); Burundi, 1988 (Ciesla, 1991); Rwanda and Uganda, 1989 (Ciesla, 1991); Kenya, Congo Democratic Republic (Zaire) and Zimbabwe, 1990 (Ciesla, 1991); South Africa, pre-1993 (Watson et al., 1999); Libya and Morocco, pre-1994 (Al Najar and Nefrya, 2000; Watson et al., 1999); and Mauritius, 1999 (Watson et al., 1999).

In South America: Colombia, pre-1991 (Ciesla, 1991); and Brazil (Sao Paulo), 2000 (Sousa Silva and Ilharco, 2001).

Risk of Introduction

Top of page The recent movements of the cypress aphid indicate the high risk of introduction of this damaging species to new areas. This indicates that the present plant quarantine inspections of ornamental and forestry planting materials are not sufficiently effective.


Top of page Watson et al. (1999) suggested that Cinara cupressivora may have evolved on Cupressus sempervirens, which occurs as native stands at relatively high altitudes in an area between eastern Greece and just south of the Caspian sea. When accidentally introduced to East Africa, this aphid caused serious damage to native stands of important indigenous Cupressaceae, e.g. Juniperus procera, in high-elevation forests and species of Widdringtonia in Malawi, including the endangered national tree, Widdringtonia nodiflora (Ciesla, 1991).

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page Different populations within C. cupressi sensu lato appear to have different host preferences. Cinara sabinae is known almost exclusively from Juniperus scopulorum. Cinara canadensis was described on Juniperus virginiana. Lachnus juniperinus was described on Juniperus communis and Thuja occidentalis. Cinara cupressi (Buckton) is relatively oligophagous, having been recorded on Cupressus species, J. scopulorum, J. virginiana, T. occidentalis and Thuja plicata in Europe. However, some of these host records may refer to a concept of C. cupressi (Buckton) that includes some of the other populations discussed here. Cinara cupressivora has been recorded from the widest host-plant range, including Callitris calcarata, numerous Cupressus species, Juniperus bermudiana, Juniperus macrocarpa [Juniperus oxycedrus subsp. macrocarpa], Juniperus procera, T. occidentalis, Tetraclinis articulata, Widdringtonia dracomontana and Widdringtonia nodiflora (Watson et al., 1999). Both C. cupressi (Buckton) and C. cupressivora have been recorded feeding on Cupressus species and T. occidentalis, although these populations have been confused in the past and this may account for the host overlap.

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage


Top of page Initial heavy infestation of small twigs and branches in the inner and lower canopy, during heat and drought, causes the progressive dieback from the outer edges of the canopy, with the foliage turning reddish-brown. As the branch tips die, the aphids move inwards, continuing to feed on the living tissue. On susceptible hosts such as Cupressus lusitanica, if preventive action is not taken the entire tree may die (Ciesla, 1991). On very tall, narrow species such as Cupressus sempervirens, dieback begins in the outer edges of the lower canopy and spreads upward towards the tip (Inserra et al., 1979).

It has not yet been ascertained whether the damage caused by the cypress aphid is due to mechanical damage, to a hypersensitive reaction of the tree to attack, or to toxicity of the aphids' saliva (Inserra et al., 1979).

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Fruit / honeydew or sooty mould
Fruit / premature drop
Fruit / reduced size
Growing point / dieback
Growing point / external feeding
Growing point / honeydew or sooty mould
Inflorescence / dieback
Inflorescence / discoloration (non-graminaceous plants)
Inflorescence / honeydew or sooty mould
Leaves / abnormal colours
Leaves / abnormal leaf fall
Leaves / necrotic areas
Leaves / yellowed or dead
Stems / dieback
Stems / external feeding
Stems / honeydew or sooty mould
Whole plant / early senescence
Whole plant / plant dead; dieback

Biology and Ecology

Top of page The likely composite character of C. cupressi sensu lato makes it difficult to generalize about the biology and ecology. The adult females may be either wingless or (occasionally) winged. In countries with cold winters at least some populations, e.g. Cinara sabinae and Lachnus juniperinus, produce sexual females and winged males in order to overwinter as eggs (Gillette and Palmer, 1924; Watson et al., 1999). In milder climates, Cinara cupressivora and Cinara cupressi (Buckton) reproduce asexually (by parthenogenesis) all year round. The number of generations produced each year depends on host quality and environmental conditions, with up to 11 or 12 generations per year recorded in Italy (Binazzi, 1997) and eight to ten generations in Jordan (Ciesla, 1991). The females have an average of 23.5 offspring, and an average lifespan of 21.9 days at 20°C and 12 hours of alternating daylight and darkness (Mustafa, 1987). Khaemba and Wanjala (1993) reported four immature instars in Cinara cupressivora in Kenya, whereas Kairo and Murphy (1999) reported three immature instars in the wingless form and four in the winged form in laboratory cultures. For C. cupressivora, Kairo and Murphy (1999) provided life tables at different temperatures, and development and fecundity were highest at 25°C (the highest temperature tested). There was no measurable effect of varying host-plant nutrition on the duration of the instars or overall survival. The wingless females of C. cupressivora were highly aggregative and exploited a wide range of feeding sites from young green branches to woody stems.

Environmental tolerances may vary between different populations within C. cupressi sensu lato. As mentioned above, L. juniperinus and C. sabinae survive cold winters in Central Europe and central North America, whereas the known distribution of C. cupressivora (in tropical areas, around the Mediterranean sea and on the edges of southern and western Europe) suggests that it might not be able to tolerate extreme cold (Watson et al., 1999). However, Kairo and Murphy (1999) found that the development threshold was as low as 0.61°C. The last population becomes damaging on forest trees that are growing in prolonged hot and dry conditions.

Members of C. cupressi sensu lato avoid strong light and dense colonies develop in the shade, with up to 80 aphids per 10 cm of branch. The aphids feed on the bark of small twigs and branches in the inner and lower parts of the main canopy (Ciesla, 1991). The sugary honeydew that is excreted coats nearby surfaces including the foliage. Sooty mould often develops on these sugary deposits.

The natural dispersal of cypress aphids is through the flight of the winged forms, which are produced a few times each year in response to crowding and environmental cues. The winged aphids are strong fliers and may be carried for long distances by the wind. Also, the aphids are very well camouflaged against the tree bark and they are easily transported on planting stock (Ciesla, 1991).

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Pauesia juniperorum Parasite Adults/Nymphs Malawi

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page The natural enemy used for the biological control of Cinara cupressivora in Malawi, Africa, is the hymenopteran endoparasitoid, Pauesia juniperorum (Chilima, 1995), which has been reasonably successful. At the end of a biological control development project, another endoparasitoid of C. cupressivora was found in Syria that appeared to be more host-specific and efficient than P. juniperorum and this wasp was new to science. Unfortunately there was insufficient funding for this species to be described or fully screened for use as a control agent, but it might be a useful candidate as a second control agent if one was required.

Chilima and Owour (1992) list the indigenous natural enemy species found either attacking or associated with the cypress aphid in Kenya. Many of these predators are almost certainly generalists and unlikely to be well adapted to coniferous plant pests that are exotic to the region (Murphy et al., 1994).

In Italy, natural enemies such as coccinellids, syrphids and neuroptera, even when present in large numbers, were unable to prevent the damage caused by the cypress aphid (Inserra et al., 1979).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page The natural dispersal of cypress aphids is through the flight of the winged forms, which are produced a few times each year in response to overcrowding and environmental cues (Kairo and Murphy, 1999). The winged aphids are strong fliers and may be carried for long distances by the wind. Also, the aphids are very well camouflaged against the tree bark and are easily transported on planting stock (Ciesla, 1991).

The cypress aphids can be transported on imported plant material (Remaudière and Binazzi, 2003).

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants adults; larvae; nymphs Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches adults; larvae; nymphs Yes Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Fruits (inc. pods)
Growing medium accompanying plants
True seeds (inc. grain)

Wood Packaging

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Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Loose wood packing material
Processed or treated wood
Solid wood packing material with bark
Solid wood packing material without bark

Impact Summary

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Animal/plant collections Negative
Animal/plant products None
Biodiversity (generally) Negative
Crop production None
Environment (generally) Negative
Fisheries / aquaculture None
Forestry production Negative
Human health Negative
Livestock production None
Native fauna Negative
Native flora Negative
Rare/protected species Negative
Tourism Negative
Trade/international relations Negative
Transport/travel None


Top of page Since the 1960s, stands of cypresses and junipers in many countries have been seriously damaged by C. cupressi sensu lato. Sporadic outbreaks have been reported from western and southern Europe, e.g. southern England in 1988 (Winter, 1989) and Italy in 1977 and 1997 (Inserra et al., 1979; Binazzi, 1997), and also from Jordan (Mustafa, 1987). The population since described as Cinara cupressivora has been recorded causing damage in Colombia and Mauritius (Watson et al., 1999). From its initial introduction point in Malawi, Africa, it spread through southern and eastern Africa, where it caused extensive damage in eight countries (Ciesla, 1991; Murphy et al., 1994). The main species of cypress grown commercially in Kenya and many other countries in eastern Africa, is Cupressus lusitanica, which is favoured for its rapid growth rate and excellent form. This species is highly sensitive to feeding by the cypress aphid (Ciesla, 1991). Observation of a stand of mature C. lusitanica in Kenya over 2 years indicated that 12% of the trees were killed outright. Other damaged trees did recover from the damage if left unfilled (Orondo and Day, 1994).

In the southern and eastern African region, the cypress aphid killed a total of US$27.5 million worth of cypress trees in 1991 and was causing a loss in annual growth increment of US$9.1 million per year (Murphy et al., 1996).

Environmental Impact

Top of page Juniperus procera is a major indigenous species of high-elevation forests in eastern Africa. Although not damaged as severely by the cypress aphid as Cupressus lusitanica, the loss of this tree in water catchment areas could result in soil erosion and the loss of water quality (Ciesla, 1991).

Impact: Biodiversity

Top of page The national tree of Malawi, the native Mulanje cedar (Widdringtonia nodiflora), is confined to the Mulanje massif in widely scattered stands. The remaining population is severely threatened by exploitation, fire and attack by the cypress aphid (Chapman, 1994), and few new seedlings survive to full growth. The future of this potentially very valuable tree currently hangs in the balance, and a long-term programme of re-planting and conservation is needed to ensure its survival in the wild.

The endemic species, Juniperus procera, has also been negatively impacted by cypress aphid attack but is more widespread and less endangered than the Mulanje cedar (Ciesla, 1991).

Social Impact

Top of page The loss of commercial plantations in eastern and southern Africa had serious effects on the region's supply of domestic wood (Ciesla, 1991). Cupressus lusitanica was also a key agroforestry species and was widely planted for windbreaks, used as a source of fuelwood, and used for living fences and hedges. Numerous dead trees in rural and urban areas increased the risk of wildfire that could endanger life and property (Ciesla, 1991).


Top of page The identification of C. cupressi sensu lato requires the preparation of adult wingless females on microscope slides. This requires great care, as the tips of the legs and antennae detach very easily. Microscopic examination is necessary to discern the distinguishing characters mentioned above.

Detection and Inspection

Top of page Examine the inner and lower parts of the canopy for signs of sooty mould growth, which develops in close proximity to colonies of the aphids. The aphids themselves are extremely difficult to see because their brown bodies are so similar to that of the bark on which they sit. Ciesla (1991) provided a photograph of a colony of Cinara cupressivora.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page The identification of species of Cinara requires the preparation of adult females on microscope slides, for study under high magnification. The wingless adult females of other members of the subgenus Cupressobium can be distinguished from C. cupressi sensu lato as follows:

- Cinara fresai has five to seven accessory hairs on the fourth rostral segment, and seven to twelve hairs distributed over the whole length of the base of antennal segment VI. However, in C. cupressi sensu lato, there are two to four hairs on the fourth rostral segment and only four to seven hairs on the base of antennal segment VI, confined to its basal half.

- Cinara juniperi has the hind tibia heavily pigmented over its entire length and six to thirteen hairs distributed over the whole length of the base of antennal segment VI. However, in C. cupressi sensu lato, the middle of the hind tibia lacks pigment and there are only four to seven hairs on the base of antennal segment VI, confined to its basal half.

- Cinara tujafilina lacks pigment on the base of the hind tibia and has eight to fourteen hairs distributed over the whole length of the base of antennal segment VI. However, in C. cupressi sensu lato, the base of the hind tibia has some pigmentation and there are only four to seven hairs on the base of antennal segment VI, confined to its basal half.

Prevention and Control

Top of page Host-plant Resistance

Infestation of the arboretum at Muguga Research Station, Kenya, created a natural experiment. Observations on the impact of infestation on different tree species in the arboretum indicated that there is a wide range of tolerance between different species (Obiri, 1994). Thuja spp. and Cupressocyparis leylandii were most tolerant, whereas Widdringtonia and Callitris species were least tolerant. In the genus Cupressus, the most tolerant species were Cupressus torulosa, Cupressus funebris and Cupressus arizonica, whereas the most susceptible were Cupressus benthamii [Cupressus lusitanica var. benthamii], Cupressus lusitanica (the main commercial species grown in Kenya) and Cupressus lindleyi [Cupressus lusitanica var. lusitanica]. Results with hybrid trees indicated that resistance breeding through hybridization might offer a viable long-term solution to the aphid problem.

The study of a stand of mature Cupressus lusitanica in Kenya indicated that the degree of aphid damage varied from one tree to another (Orondo and Day, 1994). C. lusitanica seedlings from open-pollinated seeds of 18 families were exposed to cypress aphid attack to determine the genetic basis and inheritance of resistance (Kamunya et al., 1997). The progeny of some highly susceptible trees were highly resistant, indicating that resistance was being transmitted in the pollen from resistant neighbours. The results indicated that there was a strong additive genetic control, which could allow for the effective selection and breeding for resistance. It was suggested that one cycle of selection might yield a resistant population. A subsequent study found that selection for resistance to aphid damage was unlikely to have adverse effects on economically important traits such as the height and diameter of the trunk (Kamunya et al., 1999).

Another study of resistance in 32 families of C. lusitanica in Tanzania identified the best families from Kenya and Uganda. Ten families were recommended for use in breeding, to widen the genetic base of future forests in the region (Mugasha et al., 1997).

Biological Control

A biological control agent, Pauesia juniperorum, was introduced to Malawi from Europe (Chilima, 1995) and has reduced the impact of the cypress aphid there. It was subsequently introduced to Kenya and Uganda (Day et al., 2003). Day et al. (2003) reported that the assessment of the outcome of this introduction has commenced in Kenya and that it was successful in Uganda.

Chemical Control

Cypress aphids live deep inside the canopy because they avoid bright light. Consequently they would be very difficult to reach using topical applications of insecticides.


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Agarwala BK; Raychaudhuri D, 1982. Two species of Cinara Curtis from India, with description of a new species (Homoptera: Aphididae, Lachninae). Akitu, No. 46:4 pp.

Al Najar OL; Nefrya KMN, 2000. Survey for aphid species in Libya. Arab Journal of Plant Protection, 18(1):24-27.

Binazzi A, 1978. Contributions to the knowledge of aphids on conifers I. The species of the genera Cinara Curt., Schizolachnus Mordv., Cedrobius Remaud. and Eulachnus D.Gu. present in Italy (Homoptera Aphidoidea Lachnidae). Redia, 41:291-400

Binazzi A, 1997. Further observations on the biology and ecology of the cypress aphid Cinara (Cupressobium) cupressi (Buckton) in Tuscany (I) (Lachninae). Redia, 80:45-52; 12 ref. [Published 1999]

Binazzi A; Covassi MV; Roversi PF, 1998. Role of Cinara (Cupressobium) cupressi (Buckton) and other sap-sucking insects in the decay of the common cypress (Cupressus sempervirens L.). Annali - Accademia Italiana di Scienze Forestali, 47:55-66; 22 ref.

Blackman RL; Eastop VF, 1994. Aphids on the world's trees: an identification and information guide. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

Chapman JD, 1994. Notes on Mulanje cedar - Malawi's national tree. Commonwealth Forestry Review, 73(4):235-242,272-273.

Chilima CZ, 1995. Cypress aphid control: first African release of Pauesia juniperorum. FRIM Newsletter (Forestry Research Institute of Malawi), No. 74:2

Chilima CZ; Owour AL, 1992. A review of the natural enemies of Eulachnus rileyi (Williams), Pineus pini (L), Cinara cupressi (Buckton) and Cinara cronartii Tissot and Pepper in Africa. International Institute of Biological Control unpublished report.

Ciesla WM, 1991. Cypress aphid, Cinara cupressi, a new pest of conifers in eastern and southern Africa. FAO Plant Protection Bulletin, 39(2-3):82-93

Day RK; Kairo MTK; Abraham Y; Kfir R; Murphy ST; Mutitu KE; Chilima CZ, 2003. Biological control of homopteran pests of conifers in Africa. In: Neuenschwander P, Borgemeister C, Langewald J, eds. Biological control in IPM systems in Africa. Wallingford, UK: CAB International, 101-112.

Delfino MA; Binazzi A, 2005. Further data on conifer aphids from Argentina (Aphididae Lachninae Eulachnini). Redia, 88:3-7.

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