Aulacorthum solani Kaltenbach Glasshouse potato aphid

This extremely polyphagous aphid is a common glasshouse species, where it infests various vegetable and ornamental plants. It is often also present in potato chitting houses and stores. In summer, infestations will occur on various outdoor hosts, including lettuce, potato, tomato and many herbaceous weeds. Infestations on glasshouse lettuce, tomato and ornamentals weaken plants; they also affect quality. Direct damage to potato is usually limited to tubers in store or to those in chitting houses. The aphids are vectors of plant viruses, including potato leaf roll and potato virus Y but, compared with other potato-infesting species, such as potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae) (p. 114) and peach/ potato aphid (Myzuspersicae) (p. 116), they are usually of minor significance.

BIOLOGY

This highly polyphagous species often overwinters in the egg stage. In spring, colonies develop rapidly, producing both wingless and winged forms. Infestations spread to many other hosts, and summer colonies reach their maximum development in July. Sexual forms, when produced, usually include wingless males. Colonies die out before the onset of winter but, if conditions are favourable, the aphids will continue to breed parthenogenetically throughout the year.

DESCRIPTION

Aptera 1.8-3.Omm long; body more or less pear-shaped, shiny greenish-yellow, with a darker (often rusty) patch at the base of each siphunculus, to uniformly dull greenish-brown or green; antennae relatively long, reaching to the cauda, mainly pale but dark tipped; siphunculi long, slender, mainly pale but dark and flanged apically (Fig. 190b); head with raised lateral tubercles (Fig. 189c). Nymph shiny yellowish-green, with darker legs and antennae.

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