Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Myzus cerasi
(black cherry aphid)



Myzus cerasi (black cherry aphid)


  • Last modified
  • 28 March 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Vector of Plant Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Myzus cerasi
  • Preferred Common Name
  • black cherry aphid
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta

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TitleBlack cherry aphid
Black cherry aphidAgrEvo


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Myzus cerasi (Fabricius, 1775)

Preferred Common Name

  • black cherry aphid

Other Scientific Names

  • Aphis aparines Kaltenbach, 1843
  • Aphis asperulae Walker, 1848
  • Aphis cerasi Fabricius, 1775
  • Aphis cerasi Müller, 1776
  • Aphis euphrasiae Walker, 1849
  • Aphis molluginis Koch, 1854
  • Aphis veronicae Walker, 1848
  • Myzoides cerasi Fabricius
  • Myzoides cerasi van der Goot, 1913
  • Myzus alectorolophi Heinze, 1961
  • Myzus asperulae Walker, 1848
  • Myzus callange Essig, 1954
  • Myzus galiifolium Theobald, 1929
  • Myzus langei Essig, 1936
  • Myzus pruniavium Börner, 1926
  • Myzus quasipyrinus Theobald, 1929

International Common Names

  • English: cherry aphid; cherry blackfly
  • Spanish: pulgon del cerezo; pulgon negro del cerezo
  • French: puceron noir du cerisier

Local Common Names

  • Denmark: kirsebærbladlus
  • Finland: kirsikkakirva
  • Germany: Schwarze Kirschenblattlaus; Schwarze Sauerkirschenblattlaus
  • Iran: schatte gilass (sijah rang)
  • Italy: afide del ciliegio; afide nerastro del ciliegio
  • Netherlands: Zwarte Kerseluis; Zwarte Kersenbladluis
  • Norway: kirsebærbladlus
  • Sweden: körsbärsbladlus
  • Turkey: kiraz yaprak afidi

EPPO code

  • MYZUCE (Myzus cerasi)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Hemiptera
  •                         Suborder: Sternorrhyncha
  •                             Unknown: Aphidoidea
  •                                 Family: Aphididae
  •                                     Genus: Myzus
  •                                         Species: Myzus cerasi

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Fabricius (1775) first described Myzus cerasi, as Aphis cerasi, from specimens collected in Germany. Eastop and Hille Ris Lambers (1976) list synonyms. In addition to Myzus cerasi sensu stricto (Fabricius, 1775), three subspecies have also been described: M. cerasi pruniavium Börner, 1926; M. cerasi veronica (Walker, 1848); and M. cerasi umefolii Shinji, 1941 (Dahl, 1968; Müller, 1986; Gruppe, 1988b).


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M. cerasi is a small to medium-sized aphid. Adults are shiny, very dark brown to black, with a sclerotized dorsum. Siphunculi and cauda are entirely black. The legs and antennae are yellow and black.

Fundatrices differ from apterous summer virginoparae in having relatively shorter antennae (0.75-1.15 cf. 1.25-1.60 mm) and hind tibiae (0.60-0.70 mm); otherwise similar (Palmer, 1952).

Apterous summer virginoparae have a shiny black body, siphunculi and antennae. Cauda dusky to black, and tibiae yellow except tips. The siphunculi are somewhat broader at the base, constricted just before definite flange, curved outwards, and, when at rest, are held against the body so that the tips converge and nearly touch. Cauda is rather broad at base and strongly tapered, bearing 2-3 lateral pairs of hairs (Palmer, 1952). Apterae on secondary host-plants can sometimes vary in colour from dark brown to olive-green or yellowish-brown. Apterae body lengths in range 1.5-2.6 mm (Blackman and Eastop, 1984).

Alate virginoparae have a yellow-brown abdomen, with a large black central dorsal patch. Colours otherwise as apterous virginoparae. Siphunculi cylindrical, less tapered and curved than in apterous virginoparae. Cauda tapered to nearly cylindrical and bearing 2-3 pairs of lateral hairs. Alatae body length in range 1.4-2.1 mm (Palmer, 1952; Blackman and Eastop, 1984).

Oviparae are apterous. Body length around 1.10 mm. Hind tibiae with proximal half slightly swollen (Palmer, 1952).

Males are alate. Deep black, with all appendages black except yellow tibiae. Body length around 1.30 mm (Palmer, 1952).

Morphology varies, however, with geographic region. Aphids collected in India differed from those collected in Japan and elsewhere in not having entirely black siphunculi and cauda, and differed from those collected in Australia by having paler dorsum and shorter processus terminalis (Raychaudhuri, 1980).

Diploid chromosome number is 2n=10 (Blackman and Eastop, 1984). Some Indian populations have been reported as having 2n=12; these are probably the subspecies M. cerasi umefoliae (Blackman and Eastop, 1994).


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M. cerasi occurs throughout Europe, the Middle East, and across Asia, from India and Pakistan to Siberia and the far eastern part of the Palearctic. It has been introduced more recently into Australia, New Zealand and North America (Blackman and Eastop, 1994).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


IndiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Himachal PradeshPresentRaychauduri, 1980
-MeghalayaPresentRaychaudhuri and, 1980
-SikkimPresentRaychaudhuri and, 1980
-Uttar PradeshPresentRaychaudhuri and, 1980
-West BengalPresentRaychaudhuri and, 1980
JapanPresentTakahashi, 1965
Korea, DPRPresentBlackman and Eastop, 1994
LebanonPresentBODENHEIMER and SWIRSKI, 1957
PakistanPresentBlackman and Eastop, 1994
TurkeyPresentBODENHEIMER and SWIRSKI, 1957


MoroccoPresentBODENHEIMER and SWIRSKI, 1957
-Canary IslandsPresentNHM

North America

CanadaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-British ColumbiaPresentNHM
-New BrunswickPresentNHM
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-ColoradoPresentPalmer, 1952
-IdahoPresentPalmer, 1952
-MichiganPresentFricke, 1993
-New MexicoPresentPalmer, 1952
-North CarolinaPresentNHM
-OregonPresentGilmore, 1960
-UtahPresentPalmer, 1952
-WyomingPresentPalmer, 1952


AlbaniaPresentIsufi and Myrta, 1996
BulgariaPresentVasev, 1983
Czechoslovakia (former)PresentNHM
DenmarkPresentHeie, 1986
FinlandPresentLeather, 1987
FrancePresentLeclant, 1973
GermanyPresentGruppe, 1990
ItalyPresentFontanari et al., 1993
LatviaPresentRupais, 1989
LithuaniaPresentRakauskas, 1984
NetherlandsPresentBokx and Piron, 1990
NorwayPresentHeie, 1986
PolandPresentKlimaszewski et al., 1980
Russian FederationPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Central RussiaPresentBlackman and Eastop, 1994
SpainPresentMier Durante & Nieto Nafria, 1974
SwedenPresentOssiannilsson, 1959; Heie, 1986
SwitzerlandPresentBlackman and Eastop, 1994
UKPresentPennell, 1981
-Channel IslandsPresentNHM
UkrainePresentSkiba and Parii, 1989
Yugoslavia (former)PresentSimova Tosic & Vukovic, 1980


AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-New South WalesPresentThwaite and Herron, 1996
-South AustraliaPresentNHM
-VictoriaPresentO'Loughlin, 1963
New ZealandPresentCottier, 1953; Blackman and Eastop, 1994

Hosts/Species Affected

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Primary host plants are Prunus cerasus (Morello cherry) and Prunus avium (sweet cherry), and sometimes other Prunus species (Rosaceae). Secondary hosts occur in the Rubiaceae (Galium spp.), Scrophulariaceae (Veronica spp.) and Cruciferae (Capsella spp.), and occasionally Caprifoliaceae and Compositae. Different secondary hosts are utilized in different geographical regions, for example, cruciferous hosts are important in the USA (Gilmore, 1960; Blackman and Eastop, 1984).

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Vegetative growing stage


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Colonies of M. cerasi form dense colonies at the growing apices of cherry trees in spring. Initial damage is due to leaf curling. Continual feeding causes deformation of shoot growth and can also lead to the formation of pseudogalls (open galls). Galling is thought to be due to the action of aphid saliva, which contains a physiologically-active substance (alpha-glucosidase) known to influence plant growth.

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Fruit / honeydew or sooty mould
Growing point / external feeding
Leaves / abnormal forms
Leaves / external feeding
Leaves / honeydew or sooty mould
Stems / external feeding
Stems / honeydew or sooty mould

Biology and Ecology

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M. cerasi has a heteroecious holocyclic life-cycle. It alternates between primary hosts of Prunus and secondary hosts mainly in the Rubiaceae, Scrophulariaeceae and Cruciferae.

Eggs overwinter on primary hosts. In Lithuania, overwintering eggs hatched, to produce fundatrices (stem mothers), when the thermal constant was 43-60.9 day-degrees C, above a threshold of 3°C, while up to 12 generations occurred on cherry in one season (Rakauskas, 1984). In Oregon, USA, the fundatrices first appeared in mid to late March, when the cherry buds were swelling. By late March, when buds were at the green tip stage, all the eggs have hatched. The fundatrices began reproducing by mid-April, when the trees were in full bloom. One week later the first leaf curling injury is usually found. The apterous virginoparae, the progeny of the fundatrice generation, began reproducing in early May (Gilmore, 1960). Aphids form dense black colonies at shoot tips of cherry in the spring, causing leaf curling which can result in severe economic damage.

M. cerasi can in some cases continue throughout the year on cherry, in which case it is of considerable economic importance. In Oregon, USA, for example, Gilmore (1960) reported that cherry trees sprayed with insecticide became re-infested in late spring and summer, via winged migrants, with some apterous virginoparae remaining on the primary hosts until autumn; although these could only survive on water sprouts and other succulent tree parts. Winged gynoparae migrated between cherry trees in the autumn, producing oviparae (sexual females) on the primary host, but males were not produced from populations of cherry - they all migrated from secondary hosts. A partial or complete migration to secondary hosts in late spring is the more usual life-cycle of M. cerasi. A series of generations occur on secondary hosts during the summer, commonly Galium spp. or Veronica spp. in Europe and cruciferous species in the USA, before shortening day-length induces the formation of the gynoparae, and then the males, which migrate back to cherry. In Oregon, oviparae are found on cherry from September and males return to cherry in early November. Each oviparae lays on average 4.5 eggs in bark crevices (Gilmore, 1960).

Ants commonly attend aphid colonies on cherry. Lasius niger and Myrmica laevinoides were the commonest species found with M. cerasi in a German study (Gruppe, 1990). Aphids may thrive best on larger trees, which provide greater shade from direct sunlight (Gilmore, 1960).

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Adalia bipunctata Predator Adults/Nymphs
Aphelinus Parasite Adults/Nymphs
Aphidius knowltoni Parasite Adults/Nymphs
Aphidoletes aphidimyza Predator Adults/Nymphs
Aphidoletes urticariae Predator Adults/Nymphs
Chrysopa abbreviata Predator Adults/Nymphs
Coccinella transversalis Predator Adults/Nymphs
Cycloneda polita Predator Adults/Nymphs
Ephedrus nitidis Parasite Adults/Nymphs
Eupeodes corollae Predator Adults/Nymphs
Harmonia conformis Predator Adults/Nymphs
Hippodamia 5-signata ambigua Predator Adults/Nymphs
Trioxys galiobii Parasite Adults/Nymphs

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Natural enemies of M. cerasi in Lithuania were described by Rakauskas (1984) and parasitoids of the Mediterranean region were described by Ferrari and Burgio (1994).

In Oregon, USA, large numbers of natural enemies were present in cherry orchards by late May, although this was too late to prevent economic damage. Coccinellids were the most important group of predators, followed by syrphids, and then chrysopids. Of 3600 aphids collected from cherry in June, about 17% were parasitized by braconid parasitoids (Gilmore, 1960).


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Infestations of M. cerasi on cherry in spring can cause severe economic damage. Most damage is due to direct feeding, which results in leaf curling and often premature leaf fall, shoot deformation and the occurrence of pseudogalls. Leaf curling reduces photosynthetic efficiency and fruit set. Damage to fruit and leaves has been described by Mier Durante and Nieto Nafria (1974). Some indirect damage, via virus spread, can also occur. M. cerasi transmits wilt and decline disease of cherries.

M. cerasi also transmits several non-persistent viruses of non-host plants including Bean yellow mosaic virus, Celery mosaic virus, Onion yellow dwarf virus and Potato virus Y (Blackman and Eastop, 1984; Bokx and Piron, 1990). This virus spread is due to exploratory probing of non-host plants, before they are rejected, from aphids migrating from wild hosts (for example, Galium spp., Veronica spp.) in the vicinity of crops.

Detection and Inspection

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Colonies can be found via inspection of curled young growing shoots of cherry trees in the spring. Winged M. cerasi in cherry orchards later in the spring and early summer can be detected using yellow sticky traps.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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M. cerasi is a complex of subspecies, or possibly species, with different life cycles and secondary host plants (Dahl, 1968). Three morphologically identical subspecies occur in Central Europe (Gruppe, 1988a). M. cerasi sensu stricto thrives on Prunus cerasus and P. avium, while M. cerasi pruniavium generally infests only P. avium. Both of these subspecies have worldwide distributions and migrate to secondary hosts, particularly Galium spp. and Veronica spp. in Europe. However, electrophoretic studies have shown differences in esterases of these two subspecies (Gruppe, 1988a). Gruppe (1988b) suggested that M. cerasi sensu stricto and M. cerasi pruniavium are subspecies that may be on the way to developing into different species. Indeed, Börner first considered them as distinct species, when he split off Myzus pruniavium from Myzus cerasi (Müller, 1986). The other subspecies in Central Europe is M. cerasi veronica, which is not found elsewhere in the world and lives exclusively on secondary host plants of Veronica spp. (Ossiannilsson, 1959; Gruppe, 1988b).

A further subspecies, Myzus cerasi umefoliae Shinji, 1941, occurs only in Japan and lives on Prunus mume and not cherry, migrating to Artemisia capillaris in the spring (Takahashi, 1965). Blackman and Eastop (1994) have suggested, however, that this aphid is probably not a subspecies of M. cerasi, but another species, Myzus prunisuctus.

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Chemical Control

For control of M. cerasi, compounds with a predominantly contact or systemic effect, such as dimethoate and pirimicarb have been recommended. These are applied only in infested areas, and the timing of spray applications should be based on local monitoring (Vasev, 1983).

Biological and Cultural Control

The banding of tree bases with glue prevents the ants that attend M. cerasi from climbing up the trees. These ants act to deter natural enemies, which are more prevalent in banded trees than unbanded trees (Fontanari et al., 1993). The application of glue to tree bases can be as effective in controlling M. cerasi as spraying with pirimicarb (Perez et al., 1995).

Host-Plant Resistance

Gruppe (1991) described resistance in cherry trees to M. cerasi for hybrids between and within the sections Pseudocerasus and Eucerasus. Species and hybrids of the section Pseudocerasus were rarely colonized by aphids. Within the section Eucerasus, Prunus fruticosa, and hybrids of Prunus avium x Prunus cerasus, were relatively resistant.


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Blackman RL; Eastop VF, 1984. Aphids on the World's Crops. An Identification and Information Guide. Chichester, UK: John Wiley.

Blackman RL; Eastop VF, 1994. Aphids on the world's trees: an identification and information guide. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

Bodenheimer FS; Swirski E, 1957. Weizmann Sci. Pr. Israel. Jerusalem, 5 + ] 378 pp.

Bokx JA de; Piron PGM, 1990. Relative efficiency of a number of aphid species in the transmission of potato virus Y(N) in the Netherlands. Netherlands Journal of Plant Pathology, 96(4):237-246

Cottier W, 1953. Aphids of New Zealand. Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Bulletin, 106:307-311.

Dahl ML, 1968. Biologische und morphologische Untersuchungen über den Formenkreis der Schwarzen Kirschenlaus Myzus cerasi (F.). Deutsche entomologische Zeitschrift, 15:281-213.

Eastop VF; Hille Ris Lambers D, 1976. Survey of the World's Aphids. The Hague, Netherlands: DR. W. Junk bv Publishers.

Fabricius JC, 1775. Systema Entomologiae stens insectorum classes, ordines, genera, species, adiectis synonymis, locis, descriptionibus, et observationibus. Flensburg et Lipsiae in in officina Libraria Kortii.

Ferrari R; Burgio G, 1994. I parassitoidi degli afidi. (Aphid parasitoids). Informatore Fitopatologico, 44(1):25-30.

Fontanari M; Sacco M; Girolami V, 1993. Influence of ants on aphids and their predators in orchards. Informatore Fitopatologico, 43(4):47-55; 33 ref.

Fricke JM, 1993. Aphid prey of Passaloecus cuspidatus (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae). Great Lakes Entomologist, 26(1):31-34

Gilmore JE, 1960. Biology of the black cherry aphid in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. Journal of Economic Entomology, 53:659-661.

Gruppe A, 1988. On the identification of the subspecies of Myzus cerasi Fabricius 1775 (Homoptera: Aphididae). Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft fur Allgemeine und Angewandte Entomologie, 6(4-6):568-572

Gruppe A, 1988a. Myzus cerasi group enzyme variation. Z. angewandte Entomologie, 105:460-465.

Gruppe A, 1990. Investigations on the significance of ants in the development and dispersal of the black cherry aphid Myzus cerasi F. (Hom., Aphididae). Zeitschrift für Pflanzenkrankheiten und Pflanzenschutz, 97(5):484-489

Gruppe A, 1991. Investigations on resistance of cherry hybrids to the black cherry aphid Myzus cerasi F. Zeitschrift fur Pflanzenkrankheiten und Pflanzenschutz, 98(4):411-415

Heie O, 1986. The Aphidoidea (Hemiptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. III Family Aphididae: subfamily Pterocommatinae and Tribe Aphidini of Subfamily of Aphidinae. Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica, Vol. 17. Netherlands: E.J. Brill.

Isufi E; Myrta A, 1996. The defence of fruit trees in Albania: problems and prospects. Informatore Fitopatologico, 46(1):33-36; 5 ref.

Klimaszewski SM; Wojciechowski W; Czylok A; Gebicki C; Herczek A; Jasinska J, 1980. The associations of selected groups of homopterans (Homoptera) and true bugs (Heteroptera) in the forests of the region of the "Katowice" ironworks. Acta Biologica, Uniwersytet Slaski w Katowicach, 8:22-39

Leather SR, 1987. Generation specific trends in aphid life history parameters. Journal of Applied Entomology, 104(3):278-284

Leclant F, 1973. Ecological aspects of the transmission of Sharka disease (Plum pox) in south-eastern France. Discovery of new species of aphid vectors. Annales de Phytopathologie, 5(4):431-439

Mier Durante M; Nieto Nafria JM, 1974. Notes on the aphid fauna (Hom. Aphidinea) of the Toro region (Zamora). Anales de Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrarias, Serie: Proteccion Vegetal, No. 4:115-129

Müller FP, 1986. The rôle of subspecies in aphids for affairs of applied entomology. Journal of Applied Entomology, 101:295-303.

O'Loughlin GT, 1963. Aphids trapped in Victoria. I. The seasonal occurrence of aphids in three localities and a comparison of trapping methods. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 14:61-69.

Ossiannilsson F, 1959. Contributions to the knowledge of Swedish aphids II. Lantbrukshigskolans Annaler, 25:375-527.

Palmer MA, 1952. Aphids of the Rocky Mountain Region. Colorado, USA: The Thomas Say Foundation.

Pennell D, 1981. Cherries. Booklet, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, No. 2372:i + 29 pp.

Perez JA; Garcia T; Arias A; Martinez de Velasco D, 1995. La cola entomologica, un metodo alternativo a la lucha con insecticidas contra el pulgon negro del cerezo (Myzus cerasi F.). Boletin de Sanidad Vegetal, Plagas, 21(2):213-222.

Rakauskas RP, 1984. Biology and ecology of the cherry aphid in the Lithuanian SSR. Trudy Akademii Nauk Litovskoi SSR, B (Biologicheskie Nauki), No. 4:80-87

Raychaudhuri DN, ed. , 1980. Aphids of north-east India and Bhutan. Aphids of north-east India and Bhutan. The Zoological Society. Calcutta India, viii + 521 pp.

Rupais A, 1989. The Aphids (Aphididea) of Latvia. Riga, Latvia: Latvian SSR Academy of Sciences.

Simova-Tosic D; Vukovic M, 1980. Studies on the genus Aphidoletes Kieffer (Diptera, Cecidomyiidae). Acta Entomologica Jugoslavica, 16(1/2):63-67

Skiba NS; Parii IF, 1989. Pests and diseases of cherry. Zashchita Rastenii (Moskva), No. 8:48-51

Takahashi R, 1965. Myzus of Japan (Aphididae). Mushi, 38:43-78.

Thwaite G; Herron G, 1996. Control strategies for aphids on stone fruit. Agnote NSW Agriculture, No. DPI 1. Orange, Australia: NSW Agriculture.

Vasev A, 1983. Assessment of losses caused by pests and diseases and the effectiveness of plant protection measures in cherry orchards. Gradinarska i Lozarska Nauka, 20(5):10-19; 6 ref.

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