Macrosiphum euphorbiae Thomas Potato aphid

This polyphagous species, first introduced into Europe from North America in about 1917, is often abundant on edible crops such as lettuce, potato and tomato, and on various other hosts including borage and many ornamentals. The aphids often cause stunting and distortion; they are also vectors of both persistent and nonpersistent viruses, including freesia mosaic, pea enation mosaic, pea leaf roll and potato leaf roll; compared with peach/potato aphid (Myzus persicae, p. 116), however, their role in spreading potato leaf roll virus is minor. Infestations are especially common in unheated glasshouses, and often develop on potato shoots in chitting houses.

BIOLOGY

In Europe, the potato aphid is mainly anholocychc, breeding parthenogenetically and overwintering in protected situations as either adults or nymphs. Occasionally, however, the aphid overwinters in the egg stage on Rosaceae, including cultivated rose. Aphid numbers are capable of developing rapidly in the spring and, in May and June, when winged forms are produced, infestations soon spread to many kinds of plant.

DESCRIPTION

Aptera 1.7-3.6 mm long; body spindle-shaped, shiny, greyish-green to pink; antennae and legs long; siphunculi very long and slender, with a reticulate pattern apically; cauda elongate (Fig. 190c). Nymph elongate, pale with a dark central longitudinal stripe and a slight wax coating.

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