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  • Beech Blight Aphid - (Grylloprociphilus imbricator)

    Beech Blight Aphid - (Grylloprociphilus imbricator)

    The tiny Beech Blight Aphid resembles a tuft of cotton, and in great numbers, can leave a plant high and dry.

    Picture of Beech Blight Aphid
    Staff Writer (10/20/2014): Beech Blight Aphids can be found on the twigs, leaves and branches of a variety of deciduous trees, but the beech tree is a popular hang out. They look like small bits of cotton or white wool have been glued to their bodies. This substance is actually made of strings of wax that the aphid secretes onto itself. The texture of the wax is thought to be unappealing to beetles and wasps that might eat it. It is also an efficient way of reducing the loss of water by providing a hydro-phobic barrier that prevents evaporation.

    Beech Blight Aphids tend to be found in clusters and may at first be overlooked as a fungus. Like other aphids, they use their mouth parts to drain their host plant of its juices. They then produce a sticky, sweet substance called "honeydew" from the plant juices once they eliminate it. Honeydew is an attractive food source for ants and, therefore, it is likely to find ants in the vicinity of aphids in order to harvest the sap-like excretion.

    Though the Beech Blight Aphid is tiny compared to other insects, in large numbers, they have the potential to devastate plant populations. Aphids are rapid reproducers and can dry out and kill large swaths of trees if left unchecked. Controlling their population is done naturally by the wasps and beetles that eat them. Chemical sprays are also available that specialize in killing aphids of many species though it is usually reserved for smaller house or garden plants.

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    Details of the:
    Beech Blight Aphid

    Category: Cicada and Similar
    Common name: Beech Blight Aphid
    Scientific Name: Grylloprociphilus imbricator

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hemiptera
          Family: Aphididae
           Genus: Grylloprociphilus
            Species: imbricator

    Size (Adult, Length): 2mm to 4mm (0.08in to 0.16in)

    Identifying Colors: white, brown

    Additional Descriptors: cottony, woolly, flying, clusters, stringy

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*):

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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