Forest Pest Insects in North America: a Photographic Guide

Tuliptree aphid

Illinoia liriodendri (Monell) (Hemiptera Aphididae)

Orientation to pest

Tuliptree aphid, Illinoia liriodendri (Monell), is a relatively large aphid (1.7-2.0 mm), spindle-shaped, pale green and lightly dusted with wax that is native to the eastern United States. It occurs east of the Mississippi River, excepting northern New England, wherever its hosts the tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera L.) and some species of magnolia (Magnolia) are endemic. It is also invasive in many areas where tuliptrees have been planted as ornamentals outside their native range, including California and other parts of the western USA, Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, UK), Japan, and Canada (Ontario, British Columbia). This aphid is of little or no concern in its native range, but in parts of its invaded range, high aphid densities occur that produce unsightly coatings of honeydew and sooty mold.

Hosts commonly attacked

This aphid's hosts are the tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera L.) and some species of magnolia (Magnolia).

Distribution in the USA

Tuliptree aphid is found throughout the eastern USA and in urban areas of California and other western states where tuliptrees have been planted.

Images of tuliptree aphid

Adult and nymphs of tuliptree aphid Robert L. Anderson, USDA Forest Service, 768x512 / 1536x1024
Figure 1. Adult and nymphs of tuliptree aphid, Illinoia liriodendri

Important biological control agents related to this pest species

Parasitoids of this aphid in its native range (the eastern United States) include a species of Praon, Ephedrus incompletus Provancher, Aphidius polygonaphis (Fitch), Aphidius nigripes Ashmead, and Aphidius rosae Haliday. Three parasitoids - a Praon species, E. incompletus, and A. polygonaphis - were imported from the eastern United Statees and released in California, where A. polgonaphis established but did not completely control the aphid population.

Web links for information on tuliptree aphid