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Sitobion avenae (F.)
Aphis avenae, Macrosiphum granarium, Siphonophora cerealis

Insecta, Homoptera, Aphididae .

Grain aphid

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

- Apterous adult: 2-2.8 mm long; coloration varying from individual to individual and ranging from yellow to green, red and purple; siphunculi and antennae blackish; cauda pale; legs yellow; tip of femora, tarsi and tibiae smoky; siphunculi twice as long as cauda (*) .
- Winged adult: head and thorax red-brown; abdomen red or green and sometimes with 5-6 dark lateral spots. Morphologically similar to apterae.

- Primary hosts belong to the genus Rubus. Secondary hosts mostly belong to the Gramineae, including grasses (e.g. cocksfoot grass, but especially cereals: oats, wheat, rye, barley. However, development on the primary host has been abandoned in most cases and this species can be considered to be autoecious and restricted to the Gramineae.
- Winter eggs are laid on the straw of graminaceous plants and hatch in late winter, giving rise to several generations of apterous, virginoparous fundatrigeniae. Winged aphids emerge, spreading to other graminaceous plants and developing on the uppermore leaves before moving to ears as soon as these emerge (*) .
When populations are abundant or when the ripening grain hardens, winged aphids appear in a few days (*) , leaving to create new colonies on Gramineae which are still green.
In autumn, some individuals become sexuparae, giving birth to sexuales. Females lay eggs in the winter.

[R]Life Cycle
During mild winters, this species survives parthenogenetically on new growth of winter cereals and other Gramineae.

- A major pest of cereal crops in the spring. Heavy infestations can cause a reduction of the number of grains per ears and thus a noticeable reduction of the yield. Sooty moulds develop on the honeydew which they secrete.
This aphid is also a vector of the barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV).

[R]Common Names
DE: Große Getreidelaus ES: Pulgon del trigo FR: Puceron des épis de céréales IT: Afidone delle Graminacee PT: Piolho das espigas GB: Grain aphid

[R] Images

  1. Sitobion avenae (F.) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Colony on ear of bearded wheat Winged individuals, nymphs and honeydew.
  2. Sitobion avenae (F.) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Apterous adults on spikelet of oats
  3. Sitobion avenae (F.) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Early stages of colonization of wheat ear
  4. Sitobion avenae (F.) (BASF)
    Ear of colonized wheat
  5. Sitobion avenae (F.) (Fraval A. / INRA Versailles)

To read this page in French

HYPPZ on line : Species (scientific name), Pests (common names), Glossary, Crops.

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