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Hi there, a friend of mine has just sent me this image of a bug on a pine in her garden, an infestation actually, any idea what it is ?
It's an aphid, probably a Cinara species. They won't be doing the pine tree any good but lots of trees have these infestations so I wouldn't worry too much.
Good pointer jaguarondi.
Is that pine bark? I think it might be spruce.
...Which would fit with it being Cinara piceae (greater black spruce bark aphid).
If not, here's a useful identification guide for giant conifer aphids
I think there's an omission in that, strangely: it does not include C. piceae.
Note that it does include C. pinea (large pine aphid), and C. pini (Scots pine aphid), which are different.
Also, C. piceae seems to crop up more frequently in ID questions, eg.
And here's a good resource on that species
Note that the species is sometimes spelled 'picea'; it should be 'piceae'.
Still, we can't be 100% sure, since there are about 60 species of Cinara
(http://eol.org/pages/72050/overview), and I haven't checked them all.
I'm assuming your friend's garden is in the UK.
The UK seems to be included in the ranges of the species I mention.
But since I don't have detailed distribution maps, and I don't know your location, again, we can't be sure.