grape phylloxera

(Daktulosphaira vitifoliae)

Conservation Status
grape phylloxera
  IUCN Red List

not listed


not listed


not listed


Grape phylloxera is a very small, soft-bodied, aphid-like insect.

Most adults are wingless females. They are oval in shape, less than 1 32 long, less than 1 64 wide, and yellowish-green, green, orangish-brown, or brown. As they age they become darker brown or purplish-brown. Reproductive females are pear-shaped. Nymphs are similar to adults but smaller.

Adults are difficult to identify because of their extremely small size. Grape phylloxera is usually identified by the galls it produces on the roots and leaves of grape plants. Galls on the tips of rootlets (nodosities) are yellowish-brown, hook-shaped swellings. Galls on larger roots (tuberosities) are rounded, wart-like swellings. Galls on the underside of leaves are small, green, rough, and more or less globular. They are not fuzzy.




Less than 1 32 long


Similar Species






Up to 10 generations per year, late April to late October






Life Cycle


Grape phylloxera has a complex life cycle with up to eighteen stages and four distinct forms: a wingless, root-feeding form (radicole); a winged, egg-laying form (alate); a wingless, sexual form; and a wingless, leaf-galling form (gallicole).

Radicoles are found on the roots year-round. They are the only nymph form that overwinters. They become active in the early spring and begin feeding on the roots as soon as the roots initiate growth. During the summer, fourth-instar larvae (crawlers) develop into mature females. These females reproduce asexually (parthenogenetically). They lay bundles of yellow, oval, female-producing eggs on the roots. Each female lays up to 400 eggs.

There are up to seven generations of crawlers per year. If there is a large infestation resulting in heavy competition for food, crawlers will disperse by crawling on the soil surface or climbing the plant and being blown by the wind. The last generation overwinters, most as hibernants, some as first or second-instar nymphs.

In the late summer some nymphs develop into winged alates that live only a few days. During this time they lay two to six eggs in bark on the trunk of a vine. Larger eggs are females, smaller ones are males. The eggs develop into wingless sexual form nymphs. These nymphs do not have mouth parts and do not feed. They molt four times, become sexually reproductive, and the female lays a single overwintering egg in a bark crack or crevice.


Nymph Hosts


silverleaf grape (Vitis aestivalis var. bicolor), hybrid grapes

wild grape (Vitis riparia) is resistant

Grape phylloxera originated in southeastern United States. Some American grape species, including wild grape (Vitis riparia), co-evolved with the pest and are resistant to it or tolerant to it. Others, including silverleaf grape (Vitis aestivalis var. bicolor), are more susceptible. Nodosities kill rootlets. Tuberosities weaken the roots and create decayed areas where other infections can invade, sometimes killing whole sections of root. Both result in reduced vigor of the growing plant. Once established, phylloxera cannot be eradicated.

It was introduced into France in 1860 when infected vines were imported for their resistance to powdery mildew. In the next 40 years the pest destroyed nearly two-thirds of wine grape (Vitis vinifera) vineyards in Europe.


Adult Food


Adults do not feed


Distribution Map



7, 29, 30, 82.







Hemiptera (true bugs, hoppers, aphids, and allies)  


Sternorrhyncha (plant-parasitic hemipterans)  


Aphidomorpha (aphids and allies)  




Phylloxeridae (phylloxeran aphids)  









Dactylosphaera vitifoliae

Phylloxera vitifoliae


Common Names


grape phylloxera










An abnormal growth on a plant produced in response to an insect larva, mite, bacteria, or fungus.






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Other Videos
Pedro Benito Urbina

Uploaded on Jun 14, 2011

La filoxera (Dactylosphaera vitifoliae) es un insecto, parásito de la vid, del orden de los hemípteros clasificado correctamente como Phylloxeridae por primera vez por Jules Émile Planchon en 1868 que lo denominó Phylloxera vastratix, nombre que aun se puede encontrar en la actualidad.

Fue nombrado con anterioridad como Peritymbia vitisana en 1854 por Asa Fitch en Estados Unidos al describir las formas ápteras de las agallas de las hojas. Henri Schimer lo separa del género Peritymbia al descubrir la forma alada dándole el nombre Dactylosphaera vitifoliae.

En Europa, en 1868, es nombrado provisionalmente Rhizaphis vastatrix por Planchon para describir las formas residentes en las raíces y posteriormente Phylloxera vitifoli cuando se establece la relación entre las formas radicícolas y las galliformes y se decide que pertenece a la misma familia que la filoxera de la encina. En 1869 se vuelve a la denominación Dactylosphaera vitifoliae al descubrir que todas estas formas tanto americanas como europeas pertenecen a la misma especie.

También se da el nombre de filoxera a la enfermedad de la vid que provoca el insecto. A esta enfermedad se la conoce también por enfermedad de Pierce que es en realidad la vertiente bacteriana de la infección.

Google Translate

Phylloxera (phylloxera) is an insect pest of the vine, of the order Hemiptera correctly classified as Phylloxeridae first by Jules Émile Planchon in 1868 who named Phylloxera vastratix, a name that still can be found today.

It was previously named as Peritymbia vitisana in 1854 by Asa Fitch in the United States to describe the wingless forms leaf galls. Henri Schirmer gender separates Peritymbia to discover the winged form naming phylloxera.

In Europe in 1868, is provisionally named Rhizaphis vastatrix by Planchon to describe residents forms the roots and then Phylloxera vitifoli when the relationship between the radicícolas forms and galliformes set and decided that belongs to the same family as phylloxera the oak. In 1869 it becomes the name phylloxera to discover that all these both American and European forms belong to the same species.

Phylloxera name is also given to the vine disease caused by the insect. This disease is also known by Pierce's disease is actually shed bacterial infection.

  Controlling Grape Phylloxera with Rufus Isaacs

Uploaded on Dec 9, 2011

The explanation of the Grape, Wine, and Vineyard pest known as Phylloxera. A short informative video on how you can come to get this pest and the best control methods on how to rid the pest from your vineyard.

  Combating wine bugs

Published on Oct 12, 2015

Research at the Bond LSC is looking to solve a grape vine problem with bugs called phylloxera. These bugs mutate the plant's genetic structures to divert nutrients away from the grapes towards the homes these bugs make on the leaves, better known as galls.

  Wes Hagen's History of Wine, Part 3: Phylloxera, the New World and the Future of American Wine.
Wes Hagen

Published on May 13, 2013

Wes Hagen, vineyard manager and winemaker for Clos Pepe Vineyards and Estate Wines explains how Darwin helped Europe recover from Phylloxera, where wine was planted first in the New World and how America has a tough decision: whether to define itself with a French/Italian accent, or try to build a true American wine industry.




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