Under Construction


David L. Stern
Containing group: Hormaphididae


The hormaphidini contain eight species in two genera. The aphids form galls on the primary-host plant, species of Hamamelis (common name: Witch Hazel).

Some species of Hormaphis have a peculiar gall-cleaning behavior. Aphids produce copious quantities of honeydew and when the aphids are within an enclosed space, such as a gall, they run the very real risk of drowning in their own exrement. Some species have therefore evolved the behavior of wrapping the honeydew in balls of wax (which they produce from wax glands on their body) and pushing the honeydew out through an opening in the gall. The behavior was first discovered in Hormaphis betulae by Kurosu and Aoki (1991) and has since been reported from the Cerataphidini (Hormpahididae) and Pemphigus (Pemphigidae).

Host Plants

Primary Host: Hamamelis.

Secondary Host: Betulaceae.


Aoki, S and U. Kurosu. 1991. Host alternation of Hormaphis betulae (Homoptera, Aphidoidea). Japanese Journal of Entomology 59:164.

Blackman, R.L. and V.F. Eastop. 1994. Aphids on the world's trees: an identification and information guide. CAB International in association with the Natural History Museum, Wallingford.

Ghosh, A.K. 1981. Hormaphidinae: distribution, phylogeny and systematics. Proc. Int. Aphid. Symp. Jabl. pp. 303-336.

Kurosu, U. and S. Aoki. 1991. Gall cleaning by the aphid Hormaphis betulae. J. Ethology 9:51-55.

von Dohlen, C.D. and D.E. Gill. 1989. Geographic variation and evolution in the life cycle of the witch-hazel leaf gall aphid, Hormaphis hamamelidis. Oecologia 78:165-175.

von Dohlen, C.D. and M.B. Stoetzel. 1991. Separation and rediscription of Hormaphis hamamelidis (Fitch 1851) and Hormaphis cornu (Shimer 1867) (Homoptera: Aphididae) on witch-hazel in the eastern United States. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 93:533-548.

About This Page

David L. Stern
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to David L. Stern at

Page: Tree of Life Hormaphidini. Authored by David L. Stern. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Stern, David L. 1995. Hormaphidini. Version 01 January 1995 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Hormaphidini/11050/1995.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

edit this page
close box

This page is a Tree of Life Branch Page.

Each ToL branch page provides a synopsis of the characteristics of a group of organisms representing a branch of the Tree of Life. The major distinction between a branch and a leaf of the Tree of Life is that each branch can be further subdivided into descendent branches, that is, subgroups representing distinct genetic lineages.

For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

close box


Page Content

articles & notes



Explore Other Groups

random page

  go to the Tree of Life home page