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Woolly Aphid - Eriosoma

Woolly Aphid - Eriosoma
Norwottuck Rail Trail, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, USA
October 13, 2008
Size: ~4mm
Found on birch where there were clusters of them packing into the crevices near the roots. Is this something they do for the winter?

Images of this individual: tag all
Woolly Aphid - Eriosoma Woolly Aphid - Eriosoma


Moved from Woolly Aphids.

Aphids, in general, lay overwintering eggs in bark crevices, so I suspect that's what's going on here. I can't find any evidence of woolly aphids with birch as a host plant... might this have been elm? The woolly apple aphid lays eggs in elm bark.

Elm, yes...
It could have indeed been an elm Charley. The bark was not the typical white, but it had toothed leaves like a birch...hence my GUESS as to what type of tree.

Much of the rail trail...
is through wetlands, so I'm sure there are a lot of elms there. From what I can see of the bark, elm looks reasonable, and there isn't much besides birch and elm that has birch-like leaves. Since making my previous comment, I've been reading up on woolly aphids and other fluffy things. There are several species that winter on elms and spend the summer on various rosaceous woody plants, including apple. All of them are Eriosoma species. I just moved practically everything out of that genus--there were a lot of woolly alder aphids and beech blight aphids, which are in other genera--but it's probably safe to move yours back.

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