Black Pine Aphid / Cinara cronartii

Black Pine Aphid / Cinara cronartii
Cinara cronartii (Tissot & Pepper)
Sap sucking

Colonies develop on the the branches of pine trees and particularly near growing tips, where the bark is thin enough to allow the aphids to feed. High infestations may result in stunted shoot growth and die-off of the tops of trees and branches (Van Rensburg 1979). In stressed trees, infestations by the black pine aphid can lead to death of the tree. Aphids excrete honeydew from the sap they consume and because of this, sooty mould fungus grows on honeydew making the surface of the leaf appear black.

Both winged and wingless adults are greyish-black, pear-shaped, with generally dark appendages. They are soft bodied and approximately 2.6 - 4 mm long (Tissot & Pepper 1967).

The aphid has two morphs; Apterae and Alatae. Prelarviposition days are 2 and 4 for the respective morphs. Reproductive days are 17 and 13 days respectively, fecundities for the two morphs are 67 and 40, respectively. The larval development completes in 9 days at 23°C. The adult life spans are 21 and 19 days respectively (Van Rensburg 1981). The black pine aphid is a winter pest and spend summer on the roots of pine trees (Van Rensburg 1979).

Biological control using Pauesia cinaravora (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae). The parasitoid was released in 1983 and has been effective in reducing black pine aphid populations in South Africa (Kfir et al. 2003). Chemical control is not considered a viable option as the costs of aerial sprays are prohibitive.

1974 (van Rensburg 1979).
Mpumalanga, Kwazulu-Natal midlands and Limpopo, Northern Province (Day et al. 2003).
Pinus patula (Mexican weeping pine), Pinus taeda (Loblolly pine) and Pinus elliottii (Slash pine).
North America, Southeastern United States (Tissot & Pepper 1967).


Day, RK., Kairo, MT., Abraham, YJ., Kfir, R., Murphy, ST., Mutitu, KE. and Chilima, CZ. 2003. Biological control of Homopteran pests of conifers in Africa. Biological control in IPM systems in Africa. 101-112.

Kfir, R., Van Rensburg, NJ. and Kirsten, F. 2003. Biological control of the black pine aphid, Cinara cronartii (Homoptera: Aphididae), in South Africa. African entomology 11, 117-121.

Pepper, JO. and Tissot, AN. 1973. Pine feeding species of Cinara in the Eastern United States (Homoptera: Aphididae). Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Monograph 3, 159.

Tissot, AN. and Pepper, JO. 1967. Two new species of Cinara (Homoptera: Aphididae) associated with pine rust lesions. Florida Entomologist 50, 1-10.

Van Rensburg NJ. 1979. Cinara cronartii on the roots of pine trees (Homoptera: Aphididae). Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa 42, 151-152.

Van Rensburg NJ. 1981. A technique for rearing the black pine aphid, Cinara cronartii T & P, and some features of its biology (Homoptera: Aphididae). Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa 44, 367-379.