Aphididae

Aphids are soft-bodied insects, 1-3 mm long, with long antennae. The body is oval and has a short or long pair of projections at the posterior end of the abdomen. There are winged and wingless forms, depending on the species and time of year. The life cycle includes periods when young are deposited by females, and periods when eggs are produced. Overwintering is usually in the egg stage. Infestations can increase rapidly on succulenthouseplants and plantvigor can decline. Damage to plants includes curling, discoloring, and wilting ofleaves and flowers. Some species are vectors of plant diseases and are economically important agricultural pests.

Cotton aphid, Aphis gossypi Immature and winged forms are 2-3 mm long, usually dark green, occasionally yellow or dark brown to black. In some populations, the nymphs and adults may be covered with a white wax. Adults overwinter in plant debris and begin laying eggs early in spring. Sexual forms are not developed in some populations. There are multiple generations per year under household or greenhouse conditions. All forms feed on leaves and buds of ornamental shrubs and houseplants. This aphid has wide distribution in North America.

Green peach aphid, Myzus persicae Winged forms are 3-4 mm long, pale to light green and with black marking on the abdomen. Immature and wingless forms are 2-3 mm long, yellow, pink, or green. Development throughout the year is parthenogenetic in warm climate regions; sexual reproduction occurs in north temperate regions. Eggs are laid in fall and they overwinter; hatching occurs in spring. Nymphs and mature forms feed on nearly all above-ground parts of plants, and usually occur in aggregations of all life stages. There may be 30 generations per year outdoors in favorable conditions, but fewer occur indoors on houseplants. This aphid is distributed throughout North America, and is a common pest ofoutdoor ornamental and houseplants.

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