T. troglodytes belongs to a subfamily of aphids that live mostly on the trunks, branches and twigs of trees including oaks, willows and conifers.
The tribe to which T. troglodytes belongs (the Tramini) are specialised root feeders.
Trama troglodytes is perhaps the commonest species in its genus in Europe.
A related species, T. rara, lives only on dandelion roots (Taraxacum spp.) and may be recognised by its better-developed eyes, which have 20 or more little lenses (ommatidia).
T. rara is found in North America as well as in Europe and Asia. A related genus, Protrama, has even better developed eyes, and the adult apterae have dark dorsal markings.
In Europe, different species of Protrama concentrate their feeding on the basal parts and roots of thistles (P. radicis), mugwort (P. flavescens) and buttercups (P. ranunculi).