Life history data of the rosy apple aphid Dysaphis plantaginea (Pass.) (Homopt., Aphididae) on plantain and as migrant to apple

L.H.M. Blommers, H.H.M. Helsen, F.W.N.M. Vaal

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29 Citations (Scopus)


The rosy apple aphid Dysaphis plantaginea (Passerini) is a key pest in western European apple orchards; the economic damage threshold is so low that outbreaks cannot be forecasted. A mass rearing of the species on plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.) was initiated, with the aim to infest apple trees with either the autumn migrants, gynoparae and males, or the egg-laying females (oviparae). Here, data are presented about the propagation of the species on plantain, on the production of autumn migrants under laboratory conditions, and on the duration of juvenile development and reproductive capacities of both gynoparae and oviparae. Under long-day conditions (18 h light/day) on plantain, the thermal constant for the duration of juvenile development was 166 dd (day-degrees) above the lower development threshold of 5.1 degreesC, and daily larviposition amounted to 1.87 times the temperature (degreesC)minus 0.8, above a lower threshold of 4.3 degreesC. Between 32 and 36 larvae were produced by the young female before the first larvae become adult and their reproduction started to overshadow their mother's. A plant freshly infested with 12 reproducing females and transferred to short-day conditions (12 h light/day) yielded up to 5,000 autumn migrants, with males in the majority. The first gynoparae appeared after about 25 days at both 16 and 20 degreesC, and males appeared after 40 and 33 days, respectively. Young adult gynoparae produced most of their about ten offspring right after landing on apples, unless temperature was well below 15 degreesC. The duration of juvenile development of these oviparae appeared to be rather variable and their egg-laying so protracted that each of these females needs to survive several weeks to produce a handful of winter eggs. With reproductive capacities of up to 14 progeny/female for gynoparae and 7.4 for oviparae, release of one gynopara in the field could theoretically lead to the deposition of 100 winter eggs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-163
JournalJournal of Pest Science
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • myzus-persicae
  • rhopalosiphum-insertum
  • apterous viviparae
  • pomi homoptera
  • photoperiod


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