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Brevicoryne brassicae (L.)
Insecta, Homoptera, Aphididae .

Cabbage aphid

Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images


[R]Description
- Apterous adult: 2.1-2.6 mm long; globe-shaped; green; entirely coated with a characteristic white powder (*) ; cauda triangular; siphunculi short; antennae short, less than half of body length.
- Winged adult with a dark green thorax and a greenish-yellow abdomen covered with a greyish powder; antennae as long as body; siphunculi very short (*) .

[R]Biology
- Host plants: cultivated Cruciferae (cabbage, rape) or wild Cruciferae.
- Winter eggs are deposited on the underside of leaves and stems and hatch as early as February-March. The fundatrix gives rise to apterous virginoparae forming colonies which develop progressively, spreading to leaves at the heart of plants and forming compact sheaths around flower scapes.
Winged individuals emerge when the population has reached a maximum and spred infestations to new plants. Colonies are then diminished progressively by aphid-eating animals. Sexuales appear in autumn and enventually mate.

[R]Life Cycle
- This autoecious aphid does not migrate, remaining on cruciferous plants during its whole life-cycle. Aphid numbers reach a peak in late May, when pods form.
- Virginoparae survive during mild winters, multiplying from February onwards and giving birth to winged individuals, which may lead to early infestations.

[R]Damage
- In case of rapid multiplication, plants may become covered entirely by aphids, honeydew and exuviae. Affected cabbage or rape grow imperfectly and wither. Central flowers curl up and become discoloured (*) . The feeding of aphids causes flower scapes to become distorted and flowers to abort (*) .


[R]Common Names
DE: Kohlblattlaus, Mehlige Kohlblattlaus ES: Pulgon de la col, Pulgon de las cruciferas FR: Puceron cendré du chou IT: Afide ceroso del cavolo PT: Piolho da couve GB: Cabbage aphid

[R] Images

  1. Brevicoryne brassicae (L.) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Colony on inflorescence of rape Flower peduncles are distinctly distorted and their colour is also modified.
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  2. Brevicoryne brassicae (L.) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Detailed picture of a colony Twisting of flower peduncle due to feeding punctures. A few flowers were removed to show the colony.
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  3. Brevicoryne brassicae (L.) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Damage on cabbage A few flowers were removed to show infestations of youngest tissue.
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  4. Brevicoryne brassicae (L.) (Carré S. / INRA Lusignan)
    Winged individual
  5. Brevicoryne brassicae (L.) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Colony on rape Several individuals parasitized by Aphidius. sp (Hymenoptera) died (arrowed).
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