Pine Leaf Adelgid—Pineus pinifoliae

The pine leaf adelgid, sometimes called the pine leaf chermid or the pine leaf aphid, is a native insect that occurs on both white pine and spruce. It is regarded as a very important pest of white pine, where it grows adjacent to red and black spruce. It causes galls on the new shoots of red and black spruce and migrates from these to the shoots of white pine. The galls on spruce are unsightly, but cause little injury to the tree. However, severe infestations of nymphs on white pine will kill the current year's shoots in late summer, and moderate infestations may cause the shoots to die the next spring.

pine leaf adelgid
Adult pine leaf adelgid on pine needles. Winged adult with reddish eggs under wings can be found on previous year's needles.

current season gall on spruce
Current season gall on spruce.

damage to pine caused by pine leaf adelgid
Feeding on pine results in flagged lateral shoot tips that begin to appear in mid-summer.

pine leaf adelgid damage
Damage on white pine.

Closeup of nymphs on white pine shoot.

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[Photos, left to right: E. Bradford Walker, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation,; Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,; Ronald S. Kelley, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation,; Maine Forest Service; Maine Forest Service]