Phorodon humuli Schrank Damsonhop aphid

On damson and plum, this notorious pest is of little direct importance; however, infestations on hop are of considerable significance, reducing plant vigour and potentially limiting crop production; foliage and developing cones also become contaminated with sticky honeydew, upon which sooty moulds develop. The aphids transmit various plant viruses, including hop mosaic, hop slit-leaf blotch and plum pox ('Sharka disease').

BIOLOGY

Colonies develop in spring on the underside of the leaves of damson, plum and certain wild Prunus hosts, such as P. spinosa. Winged forms are produced from mid-May onwards, and these aphids then migrate to wild and cultivated hop, the main secondary hosts. This migration usually reaches a peak in mid- to late June and then declines but, exceptionally, may extend into August. Colonies of wingless aphids develop rapidly on the leaves and cones throughout the summer, ending with the production of winged aphids that fly to winter hosts where, eventually, winter eggs are laid.

DESCRIPTION

Aptera 2.0-2.5 mm long, elongate-oval, pale shiny green to yellowish-green with three longitudinal stripes on the abdomen; head with long lateral tubercles (Fig. 189g).

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