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Black peach aphid

Brachycaudus persicae (Passerini)
Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Aphididae

These smooth-looking, pear-shaped insects have long antennae and a pair of cornicles extending from the posterior end of the body. Adults are shiny and black (A). Nymphs are reddish-brown.

Distribution

Widespread in most stone fruit-growing states and provinces in eastern North America.

Damage

Black peach aphid feeds on the roots of young peach and plum trees (B), causing stunted growth and predisposing them to other damage. Foliar colonies form in the spring, and can cause leaf curling, yellowing and premature drop. Some fruit distortion may occur, and honeydew from large colonies causes leaf spotting and sooty mold on the fruit.

Management

Black peach aphid is rarely a serious pest in commercial orchards. Motile forms can be treated with an insecticide as they appear in the spring. Conservation of natural enemies will contribute to management efforts.

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