Aphis spiraecola (Spirea aphid)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Plant Trade
- Wood Packaging
- Impact Summary
- 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
- Aphis spiraecola Patch, 1914
Preferred Common Name
- Spirea aphid
Other Scientific Names
- Anuraphis erratica del Guercio, 1917
- Aphis bidentis Theobald, 1929
- Aphis citricola van der Goot, 1912
- Aphis croomiae Shinji, 1922
- Aphis deutziae Shinji, 1922
- Aphis malvoides van der Goot, 1917
- Aphis mitsubae Shinji, 1922
- Aphis nigricauda van der Goot, 1917
- Aphis pirifoliae Shinji, 1922
- Aphis pseudopomi Bertels, 1973
- Aphis pseudopomi Blanchard, 1939
- Aphis virburnicolens Swain, 1919
International Common Names
- English: green citrus aphid; Spiraea aphid
- Spanish: afido verde de la naranja; pulgón amarillo; pulgón de la espirea; pulgón de los citricos; pulgón verde de los citrus (Arg); pulgón verde del naranja
- French: puceron de la spiree; puceron spiraecole; puceron vert de l'oranger
Local Common Names
- Germany: Grüne Citrus-Blattlaus; Grüne Zitrusblattlaus; Spierstrauch-Blattlaus
- Japan: yukiyanagi-no-aburamusi
- APHISI (Aphis spiraecola)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page A. spiraecola has two winged migrations, in spring and again in autumn. Winged individuals can be carried for long-distances within weather systems to colonize host plants in new areas. Host plant range is large and many wild species can act as reservoirs for crop infestation. Eggs or colonies can be spread in trade on planting material or fruits (especially citrus and apple). This aphid has spread to many new regions during the twentieth century and it is now widespread. However, it is not currently listed by the IUCN as a quarantine pest and is not on any related 'alert lists' of invasive species.
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Hemiptera
- Suborder: Sternorrhyncha
- Unknown: Aphidoidea
- Family: Aphididae
- Genus: Aphis
- Species: Aphis spiraecola
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
Aphis spiraecola was first described by Patch in 1914. Meanwhile, Aphis citricola was described by van der Groot in 1912, from aphids collected in Chile. A. citricola eventually became treated as a synonym of another citrus aphid, Toxoptera citricida; but Hille Ris Lambers (1975) showed that it was not this species but in fact A. spiraecola. Therefore, A. spiraecola became a synonym of A. citricola.
Eastop and Blackman (1988) re-examined the original material from which A. citricola had been described, however, and found part of it to be Aphis fabae. They suggested that the widespread pest aphid on citrus and other trees and shrubs should therefore revert to the name used for it formerly: A. spiraecola. This is now the accepted name. Eastop and Hille Ris Lambers (1976) listed synonyms but under the name citricola van der Groot. A. spiraecola is in the tribe Aphidini, within the subfamily Aphidinae of the Aphididae family.
Blackman et al. (2007) review the taxonomic issues affecting economically important aphid species, including A. spiraecola.
DescriptionTop of page A. spiraecola is a relatively small aphid. Alatae are 1.2-2.2 mm and apterae 1.2-2.2 mm, with largest body sizes in the spring. Its body colour is bright greenish-yellow or yellowish-green to apple-green. It has a brown head, mainly pale legs and antennae, but siphunculi and cauda that are dark-brown to black. Alatae have a dark-brown head and thorax, and a yellowish-green abdomen with dusky lateral patches on each segment (Blackman and Eastop, 2000).
DistributionTop of page A. spiraecola probably had its origin in the Far East. Blackman and Eastop (2000) listed it as being present in North America at least since 1907; while introductions occurred to the Mediterranean region around 1939, Africa in 1961, Australia in 1926 and New Zealand in 1931. The species now has a worldwide distribution in temperate and tropical regions.
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.
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Brunei Darussalam||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Henan||Present||Native||Invasive||Zhang et al., 1997|
|-Hong Kong||Present||Native||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Yunnan||Present||Native||Invasive||Tai et al., 2004|
|-Zhejiang||Present||Native||Invasive||Chen et al., 1993; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Georgia (Republic of)||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Andaman and Nicobar Islands||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Bihar||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Prasad and Sarkar, 1989; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Himachal Pradesh||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Indian Punjab||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Jammu and Kashmir||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Karnataka||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Naidu, 1980; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Kerala||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Naidu, 1980; Lyla et al., 1987; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Meghalaya||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Stáry and Ghosh, 1979; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Uttar Pradesh||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-West Bengal||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Irian Jaya||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Iran||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Hodjat and Eastop, 1983; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Israel||Present||Introduced||1970||Invasive||Swirski et al., 1991; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Honshu||Widespread||Native||Invasive||Komazaki, 1991; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Kyushu||Widespread||Native||Invasive||Shindo, 1972; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Ryukyu Archipelago||Present||Native||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Korea, Republic of||Widespread||Native||Invasive||Cho et al., 1997; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Lebanon||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Tremblay et al., 1985; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Peninsular Malaysia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Philippines||Present||Native||Invasive||Quimio and Calilung, 1993; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Sri Lanka||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Turkey||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Uygun et al., 1987; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Vietnam||Present||Native||Invasive||Stáry and Zeleny, 1983; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Algeria||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Dartigues, 1991; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Burundi||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Seco et al., 1992; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Cameroon||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Dejean et al., 1991; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Central African Republic||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Côte d'Ivoire||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Wijs, 1974; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Kenya||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Seif, 1987; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|South Africa||Present||Introduced||1990||Invasive||Gilbert, 1994; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Canary Islands||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-British Columbia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-New Brunswick||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-District of Columbia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-New Jersey||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-New Mexico||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-New York||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-North Carolina||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Rhode Island||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-South Carolina||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Washington||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Mayer and Lunden, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-West Virginia||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
Central America and Caribbean
|Costa Rica||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Dominican Republic||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|El Salvador||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Honduras||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Castro, 1995; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Netherlands Antilles||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Nicaragua||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Maes and Tellez, 1988|
|Puerto Rico||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|United States Virgin Islands||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Argentina||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Portillo, 1988; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Amazonas||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Hamada et al., 1998|
|-Ceara||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Bastos, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Espirito Santo||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001; Martins et al., 2016|
|-Mato Grosso||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Michelotto and Busoli, 2003|
|-Minas Gerais||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Rossi et al., 1990; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Pernambuco||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Leal et al., 1976; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Rio de Janeiro||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Rio Grande do Sul||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Santa Catarina||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Sao Paulo||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Chile||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Stáry et al., 1994; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Peru||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Ortiz, 1980; CABI/EPPO, 2001; Mallqui and Cobián, 2011|
|Suriname||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Segeren, 1983; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Venezuela||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Sanchez et al., 1993; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Bulgaria||Present||Andreev et al., 2007; Rasheva and Andreev, 2007|
|France||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001; Ferre, 2008|
|-Corsica||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Lapchin et al., 1994; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Greece||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Katsoyannos et al., 1997; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Hungary||Present||Mezei and Kerekes, 2006; Mezei and Kerekes, 2006|
|Latvia||Present||Rakauskas et al., 2015|
|Lithuania||Present||Rakauskas et al., 2015|
|Netherlands||Present, few occurrences||Introduced||Invasive||Furk, 1979; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Poland||Present||Rakauskas et al., 2015|
|Russian Federation||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-Russian Far East||Present||Native||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Serbia||Present||Petrovic-Obradovic et al., 2009|
|Slovenia||Present||Modic and Urek, 2008|
|Spain||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Melia, 1995; CABI/EPPO, 2001; Marroquin et al., 2004|
|-Balearic Islands||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Switzerland||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001; Höhn et al., 2003|
|UK||Absent, formerly present||Introduced||Invasive||Furk, 1979; Martin, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-England and Wales||Absent, formerly present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-New South Wales||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|-South Australia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|French Polynesia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Wong et al., 1997|
|New Zealand||Present||Introduced||1931||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
|Papua New Guinea||Present||Introduced||Invasive||CABI/EPPO, 2001|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page A. spiraecola is probably of Far Eastern origin. Accidental spread has resulted in it being introduced into countries worldwide. A. spiraecola has been in North America since at least 1907, and was introduced more recently into the Mediterranean region (about 1939), Africa (1961), Australia (1926), New Zealand (1931) and Israel (1970) (Swirski et al., 1991; Blackman and Eastop, 2000).
Risk of IntroductionTop of page The movement of fruits and ornamental plants carries the risk of transporting this aphid to new geographic areas, where its highly polyphagous nature favours its establishment. For example, Furk (1979) described A. spiraecola arriving in the UK, on shipments of potted Yuccas from Honduras and The Netherlands. Methyl-bromide fumigation of the plants completely controlled the pest in this case. Rosen (1980) discussed how the increasing prevalence of A. spiraecola on citrus in Israel, together with strict quarantine regulations in market countries, was presenting new challenges for integrated pest management programmes.
Habitat ListTop of page
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page A. spiraecola is a moderately polyphagous species. Primary (winter) hosts are Spiraea spp. and Citrus spp. It has numerous secondary host plants, in well over 20 families, particularly in the Caprifoliaceae, Compositae, Rosaceae, Rubiaceae and Rutaceae. The aphid has a preference for woody plants of a shrubby growth habit. Citrus and apple are the most important crop hosts (Blackman and Eastop, 2000), although grapefruit is almost immune to attack (Heinze, 1977).
Growth StagesTop of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Vegetative growing stage
SymptomsTop of page Leaves rolled tightly, sometimes almost spirally, inwards from the tip, in response to aphid feeding. For example, on citrus, aphid colonies cause curling, crinkling and distortion of young leaves. On apple, aphids cause abnormal growth of terminal shoots, and by reducing photosynthesis, reduce the greenness and quality of young apple leaves (Kaakeh et al., 1993). The earlier the attack on crop hosts, the more shoots are stunted. On distorted tips of shoots, several leaves can be rolled together. Leaves with heavy feeding damage are reduced in size, and can die prematurely. Flowers and fruits are also damaged. Damaged flower buds may not develop into fruit (Heinze, 1977).
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Fruit / abnormal shape|
|Fruit / honeydew or sooty mould|
|Growing point / external feeding|
|Inflorescence / external feeding|
|Inflorescence / honeydew or sooty mould|
|Leaves / abnormal colours|
|Leaves / abnormal forms|
|Leaves / abnormal leaf fall|
|Leaves / external feeding|
|Leaves / fungal growth|
|Leaves / honeydew or sooty mould|
|Leaves / leaves rolled or folded|
|Stems / stunting or rosetting|
|Whole plant / external feeding|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
A. spiraecola has a diploid chromosome number of 2n=8 (Blackman and Eastop, 2000).
Where it is holocyclic and produces sexual morphs, the primary hosts are Spiraea or Citrus. In North America and Brazil, Spiraea is the primary host (de Menezes, 1970). In Japan, both Spiraea and Citrus are recorded primary hosts (Komazaki et al., 1979). Hodjat and Eastop (1983) also recorded sexual forms on apple in Iran. However, it is anholocyclic and reproduces entirely parthenogenetically over most of its geographical range. A. spiraecola has four larval instars. Aphids feed on young buds, shoots and leaves of host plants (Blackman and Eastop, 2000).
In Japan, aphids overwintering on citrus and Spiraea represent two distinct biotypes of A. spiraecola (Komazaki, 1998). Timing of the overwintered egg hatch differed between populations on citrus and Spiraea; a difference which was apparently genetically determined. Spring migrants of the citrus biotype increased rapidly on citrus and pear but only slowly on apple and Spiraea, while the Spiraea biotype increased rapidly on Spiraea and pear but slowly on apple and not at all on citrus (Komazaki, 1991). The alate migrants from citrus play a major part in the spring infestation of citrus groves in Japan and other citrus growing regions.
In Henan Province, China, holocyclic populations occur on apple, with overwintering as eggs in bud axils. Around 15-18 generations a year occur, with two population peaks during the year. The first population peak in the spring can result in severe damage to apple trees; while the second in autumn can affect the formation of buds and flowers, although overall damage to crop yields is less severe (Zhang et al., 1997).
In the Mediterranean region, the first small colonies on new citrus growth occur by early February. In hot weather, nymphs can grow into adults within 5-6 days, leading to rapid population growth. On average, one aphid deposits 30 nymphs. Up to 14 generations may be produced in one year. An increased proportion of winged forms are produced in response to both over-crowding and a deteriorating food supply. The aphid cannot feed on citrus leaves that become hardened after the first growth 'flush'. When the production of young leaves stops, alates began to form nearly all of the adult population. These alates migrate in search of fresh young hosts. In the autumn, fruit formation enriches the sap in favour of the aphid and populations start to build up again. In winter, in temperate areas, few adults survive. However, in the tropics, where new shoot production is year-round, population levels can remain relatively high (Heinze, 1977).
Sexual females (oviparae) in holocyclic populations of A. spiraecola release a sex pheromone and display typical leg-waving behaviour during its release. In laboratory-reared aphids, the pheromone composition was (+)-(4aS,7S,7aR)-nepetalactone and (-)-(1R,4aS,7S,7aR)-nepetalactol in the ratio of 6:1 to 8:1. For wild oviparae, collected from an apple orchard and a Spiraea arboretum in Korea, the ratio between the two components was around 2:1. Oviparae showed a circadian rhythm in release of sex pheromone (Hong et al., 2003; Boo and Park, 2005). Lacewing predators may be attracted to the aphid sex pheromone (Boo and Park, 2005).
In laboratory experiments, with A. spiraecola reared at different temperatures, none survived at 35°C, while between 10-32°C developmental periods for immature stages varied from 23.0 to 7.3 days. The average progeny per female ranged from 44 at 20°C to 5 at 32°C, while mean generation time ranged from 35.1 days at 10°C to 10.7 days at 32°C. It was concluded that the optimal range of temperature for A. spiraecola population growth was 20-30°C (Wang and Tsai, 2000). Komazaki (1998) studied the relationship between temperature and incubation period on diapause in the eggs of two races of A. spiraecola.
Colonies of A. spiraecola are usually ant-attended. Dartigues (1991) described how the ant species Tapinoma simrothi had a positive influence on the growth and survival of A. spiraecola on citrus in Algeria. Shindo (1972) described five species of ant tending A. spiraecola on citrus in Japan, with Pristomyrmex pungens being the most common species. It was assumed that this ant interfered with the activity of aphid predators. The ant Crematogaster depressa tended the aphid on cocoa in Cameroon (Dejean et al., 1991).
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Episyrphus balteatus||Predator||Adults/Nymphs||India||Solanum nigrum|
|Eupeodes confrater||Basu and Patro, 2007|
|Leucopis||Basu and Patro, 2007|
|Lysiphlebus testaceipes||Parasite||Nymphs||Corsica; Italy|
|Micromus timidus||Basu and Patro, 2007|
|Orius minutus||Predator||Adults/Nymphs||China||apples; Astragalus sinicus|
|Pseudaspidimerus trinotatus||Basu and Patro, 2007|
|Scymnus pyrocheilus||Basu and Patro, 2007|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page All nymphal stages and adults are parasitized by the major parasitoids of A. spiraecola. Some preference for younger nymphal stages have been recorded in experiments, for example, Aphelinus spiraecolae preferred to oviposit in the first and second instars (Tang and Yokomi, 1996).
Parasitoids have been recorded in the Old World, where this aphid is thought to originate, but fewer parasitoids associated with A. spiraecola occur in the New World (Cole, 1925). Lysiphlebus testaceipes and Trioxys angelicae [Binodoxys angelicae] are recorded parasitoids of A. spiraecola on citrus. However, Tremblay et al. (1983) reported that the North American species L. testaceipes, imported into Europe for aphid control, has problems developing fully on A. spiraecola due to its relatively large size compared with the aphid, dying in the fourth larval instar before mummification. Therefore, it may not provide the control within integrated pest management programmes that it was first hoped it would.
Aphelinus spiraecolae was first described by Evans et al. (1995) from citrus in China (Guangdong Province). It is very similar to Aphelinus gossypii, and Evans et al. (1995) described characteristics for differentiating it from related species. It has a preference for ovipositing in A. spiraecola and appears to have good potential as a biological control agent in the USA (Yokomi and Tang, 1995; Tang and Yokomi, 1996).
A range of predators have been noted for A. spiraecola, mainly Chrysopidae, Coccinellidae and Syrphidae (Börner and Heinze, 1957; Heinze, 1977); although species of Neuroptera, Chaemyiidae, Anthocoridae and other families may also be important natural enemies. Cole (1925) described two significant predators on Spiraea in Florida, USA, the coccinellid Scymnus cervicalis and the agromyzid Leucopis americana, and a number of predators on citrus, most importantly Olla oculata, Hippodamia covergens and two syrphid species in the genus Baccha. Brown (2004) and Brown and Miller (1998) described predators of A. spiraecola on apple in the states of Washington and West Virginia, USA; the most important predator in both cases was the coccinellid Harmonia axyridis. Trejo Loyo et al. (2004) described predators of A. spiraecola on citrus in Mexico. Agarwala et al. (1983) described a range of syrphid predators attacking aphids, including A. spiraecola, on crop plants in West Bengal and Sikkim, India; while Ghosh (1975) listed numerous parasitoids and predators of A. spiraecola in India. Kokhreidze (1982) described a natural enemy complex on citrus in the Republic of Georgia, where predators made the main contribution to keeping aphid numbers in check.
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page A. spiraecola is mainly spread via the flight of winged forms. These can be carried considerable distances in weather systems before colonizing new host plants. Aphids can also be carried on fruits and ornamental plants to new areas, where they may establish on host crops.
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|Leaves||adults; nymphs||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches||adults; eggs; nymphs||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Fruits (inc. pods)|
|Growing medium accompanying plants|
|True seeds (inc. grain)|
Wood PackagingTop of page
|Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Loose wood packing material|
|Processed or treated wood|
|Solid wood packing material with bark|
|Solid wood packing material without bark|
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Fisheries / aquaculture||None|
ImpactTop of page
A. spiraecola is a pest of citrus, apples and ornamentals. On severely affected fruit trees, the entire yield is at risk. Direct feeding is particularly damaging to young trees in spring, when aphids infest the new buds and shoots causing leaf curl and shoot distortion. Sooty moulds, which thrive on aphid honeydew, contribute to the cosmetic damage of fruit, reducing its marketable value. It is of particular economic significance in young citrus orchards and on soft-skinned citrus varieties (Miller, 1929; Barbagallo, 1966).
The aphid transmits a range of viruses, including Citrus tristeza virus (CTV), Citrus psorosis virus, Cucumber mosaic virus, Papaya ringspot virus, Plum pox virus, Potato virus Y, viburnum strain of Alfalfa mosaic virus, Watermelon mosaic virus and Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (Blackman and Eastop, 2000). Symptoms of citrus tristeza on citrus include leaf cupping, vein-clearing and stem-pitting.
A. spiraecola is an important economic pest in the main citrus-growing areas of the world, including the Far East, South Africa, Florida (USA), Mexico, South America and Spain, in large part due to its ability to spread CTV. For instance, it accounted for 23% of infected aphids, and has contributed to the high prevalence and rapid spread of CTV in sweet orange, clementine and satsuma mandarins in recent years in the Valencia region of Spain (Marroquin et al., 2004). Its role as a major vector of CTV has been described, for example, in Spain (Pena Martinez et al., 2004), Florida (Powell et al., 2005) and India (Naidu, 1980).
A. spiraecola is also an important vector of Plum pox virus in the USA (Gildow et al., 2004) and Spain (Cambra et al., 2004). In addition to being a pest of fruit orchards, A. spiraecola can cause damage to ornamental plants, for example, in the USA and Spain (Raupp et al., 1994; Pons and Lumbierres, 2004).
Detection and InspectionTop of page For the presence of A. spiraecola look for curling and distortion of leaves near stem apices or flower heads and the presence of ants. In citrus it attacks young leaves and causes crinkling, curling and sometimes premature leaf drop. In apple, the undersides of leaves need to be inspected for the presence of aphids.
In the field, detection of alates in citrus and other crops is by yellow water or sticky traps (Seif, 1987; Quimio and Calilung, 1993; Sanchez et al., 1993; Labonne et al., 1994; Melia, 1995).
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page A. spiraecola is extremely easily confused with the green apple aphid Aphis pomi on rosaceous hosts; differences are only visible on slides. Both these species occur on Rosaceae and can be present as pests in the same apple orchards, in all regions where apples are grown commercially. A. spiraecola has a slightly shorter ultimate rostral segment than A. pomi, fewer caudal hairs and no lateral tubercles on abdominal segments 2-4, whereas A. pomi usually has conspicuous tubercles on these segments. A. spiraecola has alate males, while those of A. pomi are apterous (Blackman and Eastop, 2000). Halbert and Voegtlin (1992) provided a key to distinguish the two species. Further complication has arisen in the Far East through A. pomi itself being mistaken for Aphis gossypii. The confusion with A. pomi may have caused A. spiraecola's distribution to be underestimated in the past (CIE, 1969). This confusion does not occur on citrus.
The morphology of A. spiraecola on pear was compared with A. pomi and A. gossypii by Kuo et al. (2001). Foottit et al. (2009) used morphometric techniques to assess the reliability of suggested morphological characters in distinguishing A. pomi from A. spiraecola. The molecular approaches clearly distinguished two groups corresponding to the morphologically defined species. Differences in the length of the distal rostral segment and the number of lateral tubercles were found to be robust indicators of species membership.
Prevention and ControlTop of page
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.
A number of insecticide regimes have been recommended to control A. spiraecola on its most important crop hosts. For example, Cho et al. (1997) tested a range of insecticides in citrus groves; Park et al. (1993) compared treatments in apple orchards; and Segeren (1983) described the efficacy of different insecticide treatments on cucurbits in Suriname. Heinze (1977) listed ethion, parathion-ethyl, dimethoate, fenitrothion and propoxur as suitable insecticides. Pirimicarb has also been recommended, particularly in the context of integrated control. Stem bandages soaked with insecticide have been used in citrus orchards. Drenching of nursery plants with dimefox has also been recommended (Heinze, 1977).
Imidocloprid is a favoured insecticide for A. spiraecola control in orchards, for example, in Florida, USA (Powell et al., 2005). Lowery et al. (2005) compared the susceptibility of Aphis pomi and A. spiraecola to imidacloprid in apple orchards; while Paulson et al. (2005) showed that the effects of imidacloprid were synergized by prohexadione-calcium, a plant growth regulator used on apple and pear trees. In a six-year study of brown citrus and spirea aphid populations in a citrus grove in Florida, imidacloprid treatments controlled the aphids, although at least two annual treatments per year were required to control A. spiraecola during some years (Powell et al., 2006).
A. spiraecola has become resistant to a number of insecticides, including pirimicarb (Benfatto et al., 1970; Hohn et al., 2003). Song et al. (1995) investigated the mechanism of tolerance to organophosphorus insecticides, after resistance to this group of insecticides was found in Korea.
Lysiphlebus testaceipes was imported from Cuba to mediterranean France for the biological control of A. spiraecola and other citrus aphids in 1973-74, and has since spontaneously spread to mainland Italy, Sicily and other areas (Stáry et al., 1988). Biological control of A. spiraecola by L. testaceipes on citrus in Italy is described by Viggiani (1990). However, this braconid parasite cannot complete its development in A. spiraecola. Parasitized aphids die or stop producing offspring, but no further parasites are produced from mummies. This may be true for a number of generalist parasites observed ovipositing in this aphid, because of its relatively small size. Trioxys angelicae can complete its development in A. spiraecola, however, an important factor in biological control programmes.
The parasitoid Aphelinus spiraecolae, which has a preference for A. spiraecola in its native China, was introduced from China into the USA and has potential as a biological control agent in Citrus in Florida, USA (Tang and Yokomi, 1996). Stáry and Zeleny (1983) suggested that Lipolexis scutellaris would be a good export from Vietnam for control of A. spiraecola in other citrus growing regions of the world.
Raupp et al. (1994) described releases of the convergent lady beetle (Hippodamia convergens) and seven spotted lady beetle (Coccinella septempunctata) against pests of ornamental landscape plants; the predators reduced populations of A. spiraecola on firethorn (Pyracantha lalandei). Katsoyannos et al. (1997) described how the coccinellid Harmonia axyridis was imported to Greece from France for aphid control in citrus. Kuznetsov (1988) reported that coccinellids (Harmonia spp.) from the far East of the former USSR were released in citrus orchards in the Transcaucasus, where they overwintered successfully and controlled large populations of A. spiraecola the following year. Qin (1985) described the mass rearing of insects, including the anthocorid Orius minutus, for release against A. spiraecola and other pests in apple orchards in China.
In a study of integrated biological control of pests on Viburnum tinus plants in open tunnels in France, A. spiraecola was recorded as the major pest and was controlled by the release of Aphidius spp. and Aphidoletes aphidimyza, augmented by the native auxiliary fauna, notably syrphids (Ferre, 2008).
Harmonia axyridis is the major natural enemy controlling aphid numbers in integrated pest management programmes in citrus in the Korean Republic, and Cho et al. (1997) took toxicity of insecticides to this coccinellid into account when recommending which insecticides to use against A. spiraecola. Lee et al. (1994) likewise recommended insecticides for use against the aphid, in apple orchards in the Korean Republic, which preserved the main natural enemies. Uygun et al. (1987) described integrated control in citrus in Turkey, where A. spiraecola is kept at low levels by predatory Coleoptera and Neuroptera.
ReferencesTop of page
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Distribution MapsTop of page
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