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  • Potato Aphid - (Macrosiphum euphorbiae)

    Potato Aphid - (Macrosiphum euphorbiae)

    Potato Aphids can infest a variety of vegetable plants including tomatoes, leaving a sad bush and ruined fruit in their wake.

    Staff Writer (7/31/2017): Members of the Aphid family, Potato Aphids are voracious plant suckers. Their mouth parts pierce plant tissue and they suck the life out of leaves and stems when in large numbers. Aphids are rapid reproducers so many generations can infest the same plant, which makes controlling their numbers problematic. Spraying affected plants with insecticide can help for a while, but new eggs that survived the chemical application can hatch and restart a population in weeks if not days. Natural predators are drawn to affected plants, but large populations may survive without a large population of predators to reduce their numbers and maintain them.

    Plants suffer from the presence of aphids in a few ways. Depletion of xylem and phloem (water and liquid plant food) weakens and starves it. Many leaves of the plant will dry out and die, making photosynthesis and the creation of glucose difficult. Once leaves shrivel up and die, fruit is exposed to more sunlight than usual which can scald it, making it visually less appealing if not damaged. Aphids also secrete a sweet liquid substance called 'honeydew' which attracts other insects like ants to the plant. The honeydew can grow mold/mildew on it creating black ashy spots on the plant. One large, healthy population of aphids can do all this damage despite their individual size. This is why the Potato Aphid is the bane of many a gardener.

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    Details of the:
    Potato Aphid

    Category: True Bug
    Common name: Potato Aphid
    Scientific Name: Macrosiphum euphorbiae

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hemiptera
          Family: Aphididae
           Genus: Macrosiphum
            Species: euphorbiae

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

    Identifying Colors: white, red, pink

    Additional Descriptors: tomato, potato, cluster, congregation, infest, small, harmful

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * 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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