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Beech Blight Aphid (Grylloprociphilus imbricator)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Beech Blight Aphid.

 Updated: 3/15/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The tiny Beech Blight Aphid resembles a tuft of cotton, and in great numbers, can leave a plant high and dry.



Beech Blight Aphids can be found on the twigs, leaves and branches of a variety of deciduous trees, but the beech tree is a popular hang out. They are white and fluffy, as if small bits of cotton or white wool have been glued to their bodies. This hairy substance is actually made of strings of wax that the aphid secretes onto itself. The texture of the wax is thought to be unappealing to beetles and wasps that might eat it. It is also an efficient way of reducing the loss of water by providing a hydro-phobic barrier that prevents evaporation.

Beech Blight Aphids tend to be found in clusters and may at first be overlooked as a fungus or lichen. Like other aphids, they use their mouth parts to drain their host plant of its juices. They then produce a sticky, sweet substance called "honeydew" from the plant juices once they eliminate it. Honeydew is a sweet, attractive food source for ants and, therefore, it is likely to find ants in the vicinity of aphids in order to harvest the sap-like excretion.

Though the Beech Blight Aphid is tiny compared to other insects, in large numbers they have the potential to devastate plant populations. Aphids are rapid reproducers and can dry out and kill large swaths of trees if left unchecked. Controlling their population is done naturally by the wasps and beetles that eat them. Chemical sprays are also available that specialize in killing aphids of many species though it is usually more practical for use on smaller house plants and garden plants.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Aphididae
          Genus: Grylloprociphilus
            Species: imbricator
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Grylloprociphilus imbricator
Category: Cicada and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 2mm to 4mm (0.08in to 0.16in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: white, brown
Descriptors: cottony, woolly, flying, clusters, stringy
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
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Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.