Macrosiphum albifrons Essig Essigs lupin aphid

This North American aphid was first reported in the British Isles in 1981. It has since become a widespread and important pest of lupin, and is now also well established in continental Europe. The aphids are very large (up to 4.5mm long), and greyish-green, dusted with whitish wax. They form dense colonies on the leaves and flower spikes, causing severe damage to lupins in gardens and nurseries, and also transmitting viruses. Infestations also occur on agricultural lupin crops, e.g. white lupin; alkaloid content and composition of the plant is important in determining host suitability. On autumn-sown lupins, infestations often become extensive by mid-April. On spring-sown crops, aphids usually occur from July onwards, with largest populations developing during flowering. In Europe, this species appears to be anholocychc and breeds entirely parthenogenetically.

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