Myzus cerasi (black cherry aphid)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Species Vectored
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
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
- MYZUCE (Myzus cerasi)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- 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 NomenclatureTop of page
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).
DescriptionTop of page
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).
DistributionTop of page
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 TableTop of page
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.
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
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).
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Artemisia (wormwoods)||Asteraceae||Wild host|
|Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd's purse)||Brassicaceae||Wild host|
|Galium mollugo (Hedge bedstraw)||Rubiaceae||Wild host|
|Galium odoratum (Woodruff)||Rubiaceae||Wild host|
|Galium verum (lady's bedstraw)||Rubiaceae||Wild host|
|Nasturtium officinale (watercress)||Brassicaceae||Wild host|
|Prunus (stone fruit)||Rosaceae||Other|
|Prunus avium (sweet cherry)||Rosaceae||Main|
|Prunus japonica (Japanese bush cherry tree)||Rosaceae||Wild host|
|Prunus mume (Japanese apricot tree)||Rosaceae||Wild host|
|Prunus serrulata (Japanese flowering cherry)||Rosaceae||Wild host|
|Prunus virginiana (common chokecherrytree)||Rosaceae||Wild host|
|Veronica (Speedwell)||Scrophulariaceae||Wild host|
Growth StagesTop of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Vegetative growing stage
SymptomsTop of page
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/SignsTop of page
|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|
Species VectoredTop of page Bean yellow mosaic virus (bean yellow mosaic)
Celery mosaic virus
Onion yellow dwarf virus (onion yellow dwarf)
Potato virus Y (potato mottle)
Biology and EcologyTop of page
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 enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Hippodamia 5-signata ambigua||Predator||Adults/Nymphs|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
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).
ImpactTop of page
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 InspectionTop of page
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/ConditionsTop of page
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 ControlTop of page
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).
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.
ReferencesTop of page
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Rupais A, 1989. The Aphids (Aphididea) of Latvia. Riga, Latvia: Latvian SSR Academy of Sciences.
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.
Distribution MapsTop of page
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