Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that belong to the order Hemiptera and are primarily northern temperate zone insects all in the family Aphididae. There are over 5,000 species of aphids worldwide, with about 1,350 species in North America alone.
Aphids are sap-sucking insects that live in temperate zones and can be found in a variety of habitats throughout the world. They are known to infest crops, gardens, and other flora worldwide and feed on the sap of different plants using their piercing-sucking mouthparts.
Aphids can cause stunted growth, curling leaves, and transmit plant viruses. Some species of aphids are also known to excrete honeydew, a sticky, sugary substance that can attract other insects and promote the growth of sooty mold.
There are many types of aphids, and they can range in color from green, black, red, yellow, brown, or gray, and most species have a pair of tubelike projections (cornicles) on the abdomen.
7 Types Of Aphids
Green peach aphid
The green peach aphid, also known as Myzus persicae, is a small green aphid belonging to the order Hemiptera. It is the most significant aphid pest of peach trees, causing decreased growth, shriveling of the leaves, and the death of various tissues.
The green peach aphid is also a vector for the transport of plant viruses such as cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), potato virus Y (PVY), and tobacco etch virus (TEV). The adult green peach aphid can be yellowish-green, red, or brown in color because of morphological differences influenced primarily by the host plants, nutrition, and temperature.
Winged green peach aphids have a black head and thorax and yellow-green abdomen, while wingless adults and nymphs are usually pale yellow-green. The green peach aphid is found throughout the world, including all areas of North America, where it is viewed as a pest principally.
One useful control measure is to take advantage of the negative taxis the green peach aphid has; hanging silver-grey film or using silver-grey film nets to cover field crops can inhibit their landing and settlement. Adults can be trapped by taking advantage of their preference for sweet or sour materials.
The apple aphid, also known as Aphis pomi, is a true bug in the family Aphididae. It is commonly found on young growth of apple trees and other members of the rose family, where it feeds by sucking sap.
The apple aphid is yellow-green with a dark head and legs, and it overwinters as a black egg on its only host, the apple tree. The apple aphid is found in Europe, North America, and East Asia, and it is thought to have originated in East Asia.
Melon or cotton aphid
Melon or cotton aphid, also known as Aphis gossypii, is a tiny insect belonging to the superfamily Aphidoidea in the order Hemiptera. It is a widely distributed pest of a variety of agricultural crops in the families Cucurbitaceae, Rutaceae, and Malvaceae.
The wingless female cotton aphid has an ovoid body about two millimeters long in varying shades of green, while the cylindrical black siphunculi are wide at the base and one-fifth of the body length.
The cotton aphid has a very wide host range with at least 60 host plants being known in Florida and perhaps 700 worldwide. Among cucurbit vegetables, it can seriously affect watermelons, cucumbers, cantaloupes, squash, and pumpkin.
Other vegetable crops attacked include pepper, eggplant, okra, and asparagus. It also affects citrus, cotton, and hibiscus. The melon aphid feeds on the underside of leaves or on the growing tip of vines, sucking nutrients from the plant, and the foliage may become chlorotic and die prematurely.
The melon aphid is an important pest of both agricultural and ornamental plants and feeds upon many host plants. The melon aphid spends the winter on weed hosts and on cold-tolerant plants, probably both as nymphs and adult females in the south.
The melon aphid transmits several important plant viruses, including cucumber mosaic, onion yellow dwarf, citrus quick decline, lily symptomless diseases, and lily rosette.
Many of the natural enemies known to be effective against other aphids also attack melon aphid, including ladybird beetles, flower flies, and braconid wasps.
Ants are commonly found associated with melon aphid, but they are there to collect honeydew and may even hinder predation by other insects.
Rose aphids, also known as Macrosiphum rosae, are sap-sucking insects that belong to the subfamily Aphidinae. They have a worldwide distribution and infest rosebushes as the main host in spring and early summer, congregating on the tips of shoots and around new buds.
Later in the summer, winged forms move to other rose bushes or a limited number of secondary hosts before returning to rosebushes to lay eggs in the autumn.
The rose aphid mainly overwinters as eggs on roses, but in mild winters, some adults may survive until spring. The eggs hatch in spring into wingless females that reproduce parthenogenetically, and large colonies can quickly develop, mainly found on the tips of shoots and around flower buds.
The heaviest population densities are in June and July in the northern hemisphere, just when the bushes are flowering, and thereafter the populations decline.
Rose aphids damage the aesthetic appearance of rosebushes by contorting the flowers and foliage and by the sticky honeydew they produce, which often provides a surface on which sooty molds develop.
Some of the methods to control rose aphids include using insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, and ladybugs.
The cabbage aphid, also known as Brevicoryne brassicae, is a small, gray-green aphid that feeds on plants in the family Brassicaceae. The name Brevicoryne is derived from the Latin words “brevi” and “coryne,” which loosely translates as “small pipes”.
The cabbage aphid is a worldwide pest of many cruciferous vegetables, including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. The aphids feed on the youngest leaves and flowering parts of the plant, causing wrinkled and downward-curling leaves, yellow leaves, and reduced growth.
The cabbage aphid is also known to contaminate marketable parts of the plant with aphids and aphid honeydew, a sugary, sticky secretion produced by the aphids.
The cabbage aphid has many natural enemies, including ladybugs, syrphid fly larvae, and the parasitic wasp Diaeretiella rapae, which lays its eggs within cabbage aphids and produces a bronze-colored aphid “mummy”.
The artichoke aphid, also known as Capitophorus elaeagni, is a pale greenish-white to yellowish-green, almost translucent aphid with pale appendages. The tips of the very long cornicles (siphunculi) are distinctly dusky-colored and diverging tubercles at the base of the antennae.
The artichoke aphid feeds on artichokes and other plants in the sunflower family (Asteraceae). Besides direct-feeding damage, the artichoke aphid characteristically secretes copious amounts of honeydew, which is deposited onto leaves and developing artichoke buds in the lower canopy, giving them a wet and shiny appearance.
Honeydew deposits on the foliage result in the growth of sooty mold, which covers the leaf surface and interferes with photosynthesis. The artichoke aphid is a serious problem on perennial artichokes during summer, when the average humidity and air temperature are in the high range.
When choosing insecticide treatments to control other pests, consider the impact of the materials on natural enemies of this aphid. In this article, we will discuss the artichoke aphid’s life cycle, distribution, ecology, and control measures.
The soybean aphid, also known as Aphis glycines, is an invasive pest of soybean crops in North America. The soybean aphid is native to Asia and was first discovered in the United States in Wisconsin in July 2000.
Since then, it has rapidly spread throughout the north-central United States, much of southeastern Canada, and the northeastern United States.
The soybean aphid is a small, light green to pale yellow, soft-bodied insect that has two black-tipped cornicles (tailpipes) on the rear of the abdomen.
The soybean aphid feeds on new tissue on the undersides of leaves near the top of recently colonized soybean plants, causing reduced growth and yield. The soybean aphid has a complex life cycle, and frequent scouting is necessary to make appropriate treatment decisions.
1. What are aphids?
Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that belong to the order Hemiptera. They are sap-sucking insects that live in temperate zones and can be found in a variety of habitats throughout the world.
2. How many types of aphids are there?
There are over 5,000 species of aphids worldwide, with about 1,350 species in North America alone.
3. What are some common types of aphids?
Some common types of aphids include the green peach aphid, apple aphid, melon or cotton aphid, rose aphid, cabbage aphid, artichoke aphid, and soybean aphid.
4. What plants do aphids infest?
Aphids can infest almost any plant in yards and gardens and on field crops. Some of the most common plants that aphids infest include vegetables (potato, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, and more), fruit trees (cherry and plum), ornamentals (rose, snapdragon, tulip, and violet), and soybean crops.
5. How do I identify aphids?
Aphids are small, pear-shaped, soft-bodied insects that can range in color from green, black, red, yellow, brown, or gray. Most species have a pair of tubelike projections (cornicles) on the abdomen. The best way to identify aphids is to check for two tail pipes (cornicles) found at the end of the abdomen.
6. How do I control aphids?
There are many ways to control aphids, including using insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, ladybugs, and other natural predators. In most cases, treating aphids for the health of plants is usually unnecessary, and aphids can often be managed with only non-chemical options or low-risk pesticides.