Woolly Apple Aphid - Eriosoma lanigerum


Eriosoma lanigerum wingless females (apterae) are purple, red or brown and are the most often recorded form of this aphid.  They are usually found on their secondary host – Apple - causing lumpy irregular galls on branches, which become woody and persist after the aphids have left.  The aphid is a considered to be a pest of orchards and can cause damage to the tree.  

The aphids are covered in thick white flocculent (woolly) wax. This is produced by distinct wax glands on the head and along the thorax and abdomen. The body length of Eriosoma lanigerum apterae is 1.2 to 2.6 mm.

Identification difficulty

Gall Adult


Wherever the host plants occur.

When to see it


Life History

Wingless females of woolly apple aphids live in dense colonies on the roots, trunk or branches of the (secondary) host Apple (Malus) where it is a serious pest, often causing deformation and cancer-like swellings of bark which can be 1 cm across or much larger. Eriosoma lanigerum is also found on related species, such as Hawthorn (Crataegus) and Cotoneaster.

UK Status

Status in Britain is difficult to determine due to lack of records but it is believed to be fairly frequent.

VC55 Status

Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Woolly Apple Aphid
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
29/07/2017 (Lewis, Steven)
Last record:
14/10/2023 (Nicholls, David)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

The latest images and records displayed below include those awaiting verification checks so we cannot guarantee that every identification is correct. Once accepted, the record displays a green tick.

In the Latest Records section, click on the header to sort A-Z, and again to sort Z-A. Use the header boxes to filter the list.

Latest images

Latest records