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Rosy apple aphid

Dysaphis plantaginea (Passerini)
Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Aphididae

Populations arise from the overwintered stem mothers (A), which are wingless and purplish in color, and form into colonies of rosy-purple nymphs with dark cornicles (B). They do not have the waxy, wool-like covering that the woolly apple aphid produces.

Distribution

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

Damage

Attacks apple mainly, also pear. This aphid causes the leaves to curl (C) and take on a crimson appearance; it stunts the growth of shoots and causes characteristic malformations on leaves and fruit (D). The honeydew it excretes favors the growth of sooty mold.

Management

Conserve natural parasitoids; check for colonies in fruit clusters at pink bud stage, and on interior and upper branches after petal fall; if necessary, apply selective insecticides (aphicides) at pink. Elimination of this species' summer weed hosts, especially narrow-leaved plantain and dock, can contribute to control efforts.

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