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Nasonovia ribisnigri (Mosley)
Aphis lactucae (Boyer de Fonscolombe), Nasonovia ribicola,

Insecta, Homoptera, Aphididae .

Lettuce aphid

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

- Adult: length 3 mm, greenish, slightly spotted on the sides. The hind legs are long and slender. The antenna segments are equal.
The young wingless adults, length 2 to 3 mm, yellow-greenish, with straight, unswollen siphunculi, have narrow dark spots on the rear section of the abdomen, on each side of the median line.
The young winged adults have irregular narrow stripes at the rear (*) .

- The primary host plants are Ribes (gooseberry, red and white currants) and the secondary hosts, lettuce and chicory and various wild plants, nipplewort (Lampsana), hawkweed (Hieracium), Crepis, other latex Compositae and Scrophularia.
- The fundatrix, emerging from winter egg, feeds on currant and gooseberry leaves (primary hosts) and by parthenogenesis and viviparity produces foundation colonies from which, in May and June, appear the winged aphids which migrate to the Compositae (secondary hosts).
- They then establish colonies, comprising individuals from several successive generations, wingless or winged forms which colonize neighbouring plants. In autumn, the sexuparous individuals appear, male and female, which migrate back to the primary hosts. Each mated female lays a winter egg on the primary host.

[R]Life Cycle
- Heteroecious, holocyclic. In warm regions, overwintering may occur on the secondary host, in virginiparous form.

These aphids are sap suckers. In general the direct damage is limited on lettuces. The contamination problem is more serious since lettuces full of aphids are unsaleable (*) . In addition the leaves are very pale in colour and slightly deformed (wavy edges). If the leaves are otherwise discoloured, other species of aphid are also present.
The main problem with lettuce aphid is its capacity to act as a vector for viruses. It transmits gooseberry veinbanding virus, cauliflower mosaic virus, cucumber mosaic virus andlettuce mosaic virus. The latter is of considerable economic importance.

Widespread in Europe and North America.

[R]Common Names
DE: Salatblattlaus ES: Pulgón de la lechuga FR: Puceron de la laitue IT: Afide della lattuga PT: Piolho da alface GB: Lettuce aphid

[R] Images

  1. Nasonovia ribis-nigri (Mosley) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Damage on lettuce Infestations have spread to all parts of the plant.
  2. Nasonovia ribis-nigri (Mosley) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Detailed picture of a colony on lettuce Winged individuals spread to other plants.

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