Myzus persicae

Scientific Name Myzus persicae (Sulzer)
Common Names English: Green peach aphid; German: Grüne Pfirsichblattlaus; Spanish: Pulgón verde del melocotonero; French: Puceron vert du pêcher
Description Wingless adults are 1.5 to 2 mm (0.058-0.078 inch) long; their color varies from yellow, through all shades of green, to pink, red or black.

Biology

Damage

In the spring, the aphids first propagate on peach. If they are numerous, curling of leaves and distortion of shoots can occasionally be observed.
Myzus persicae sometimes causes direct feeding damage on some other crops as well, partly because of its toxic saliva. Symptoms can include dwarfing, wilting or curling of leaves. High population densities can lead to water stress, reduced growth and eventually, to decreased yield. However, most of the symptoms - typically yellowing of leaves and chlorotic spots - and most of the damage are caused by the numerous viruses this aphid species transmits.

Lifecycle

Myzus persicae comprises a number of host races, which are sometimes described as separate species; the systematic status of M. nicotianae is particularly doubtful.
The winter host is nearly always Prunus spp., especially P. persica (peach), but often the aphid is anholocyclic, wherever the climate allows the overwintering of active stages.
In spring, after several generations have occurred, the increasing population density causes winged morphs to appear, which leave the tree and disperse onto the potential summer hosts. The aphid often stops to deposit some nymphs, then flies again, visiting and possibly infesting a number of plants in this way.
In autumn, the aphids migrate back to P. persica, where mating occurs and the eggs are deposited. Aphids that have returned to peach in the autumn tend to be found on senescent leaves, mostly along the veins, whereas on summer hosts, the youngest tissue carries the largest aphid population.

Occurrence

Additional Crop Information

Myzus persicae is highly polyphageous, being able to feed on hundreds of summer host species from over 40 families.

Agricultural Importance

Like all aphids, it propagates parthenogenetically during the summer and has a short generation time, so populations can increase rapidly under favorable conditions. It is found all over the world, often as a pest on vegetables in greenhouses in colder climates. Myzus persicae is considered one of the most important vectors of plant viruses; it can transmit over 100 types. Thus, on particularly sensitive crops (e.g. seed potatoes), even a slight infestation can lead to great damage.

Control

Useful non-chemical contribution to Integrated Weed Management

Myzus persicae has numerous natural enemies. Great importance should therefore be attached to sparing beneficials whenever pesticides are used.

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