Pineus pini

Pineus pini (Macquart)

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Hemimetabola, Hemiptera, Sternorrhyncha, Aphidoidea, Adelgidae.

Common name: woolly pine aphid.

Geographical distribution: Almost cosmopolitan.

Host plants: Pines (Pinaceae).

Morphology: The body of the apterous female is red-brown, ovoid, about 1-2.5 mm long, covered by white wax threads. The legs and antennae are short. The alates are 1.0-2.0 mm in length with well developed legs and longer antennae.

Life cycle: The aphid settles under the pine bark and females lay their eggs in a nest comprised of whitish woolly wax. The hatched larvae move to young foliage and begin to feed. As they grow they excrete honeydew that is colonized by sootymold fungi, which blacken the trees. Dispersal is mainly by winds, which blow the larvae amongst the trees. Asexual reproduction by winged and wingless females occurs throughout the year and annually there are at least three overlapping generations. There may be a partial migration of alatae to the ancestral primary host (Picea spp.) each year.

Economic importance: Infestations result in needle drop and in reductions and distortions in growth, in dry mater and sometimes in up to 25% mortality, especially under stress conditions, like warm and dry weather. Infested trees are more vulnerable to attack by other pests and diseases.


Monitoring: The negative relationship between needle lengths and aphid numbers suggests that measurements of needle lengths could suffice to estimate the intensity of infestation. The occurrence of white waxy webs on various tree parts indicates the presence of the pest.

Plant resistance: Different seedlings of the same pine species, of various provenances, may differ in their susceptibility to the pest. Some varieties of Pinus pinaster Aiton are resistant.

Biological control: Pineus spp. have been controlled in different parts of the world by various predators. These include Chamaemyiidae, such as Leucopis obscura Haliday, and Neolucopis tapiae Blanchard. The latter which was introduced into Israel and is controlling the pest. Other important predators are Coccinellidae.


Brand, D. and Mendel, Z. 2010. A predatory fly to control pests of pine trees. Environment and Ecology 11: 17.

CABI. 2013. Pineus pini (pine woolly aphid). Invasive Species Compendium Datasheets. Available at: (Accessed 20/05/13)

Culliney, T.W., Beardsley, J.W. Jr, and Drea, J.J. 1988. Population regulation of the Eurasian pine adelgid (Homoptera: Adelgidae) in Hawaii. Journal of Economic Entomology 81: 142-147.

Donald, D. G. M. 1989. Resistance of seedling progeny of Pinus pinaster and_ P. radiate_ to the pine woolly aphid Pineus pini L. South African Forestry Journal 9: 150.

Greathead, D.J. 1995. The Leucopis spp. (Diptera: Chamaemyiidae) introduced for biological control of Pineus sp. (Homoptera: Adelgidae) in Hawaii: implications for biological control of Pineus ?boerneri in Africa. Entomologist 114: 83-90.

Madoffe, S.S. & Austara, Ø. 1990. Impact of pine woolly aphid, Pineus pini (Macquart) (Hom., Adelgidae), on growth of Pinus patula seedlings in Tanzania. Journal of Applied Entomology 110: 421-424.

Mailu, A.M., Khamala, C.P.M. and Rose, D.J,W. 1982. Sampling techniques ,for populations of pine woolly aphid, Pineus pini (Gmelin) (Adelgidae). Kenya Journal of Science and Technology, (Biological Sciences). 3: 9-18.

Mendel, Z., Assael, F., Saphir, N., Zehavi, A. and Kafisheh W. 1994. New distribution records of Matsucoccus josephi and Pineus pini (Homoptera) on pine trees in parts of the near east. Phytoparasitica 22: 9-18.

Odera, J.A. 1974. The incidence and host trees of Pine woolly aphid, Pineus pini (L.), in East Africa. Commonwealth Forestry Review 53: 128-136.

Zwolinski, J.B. 1990. Preliminary evaluation of the impact of the pine woolly aphid on condition and growth of pines in the Southern Cape. South African Forestry Journal 153: 22-26.