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Aphids in Lupin

Aphids in Lupin

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Published by draculavanhelsing
fact sheet
fact sheet

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: draculavanhelsing on May 28, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Figure 1. Both winged and wingless adults are found inlupin crops.Figure 2. The black cowpeaaphid is often prey to parasiticwasps.Figure 3. Large numbers of bluegreen aphids can build upon susceptible lupin varieties.Figure 4. Green peach aphids found on lupins can be green, yellow or sometimes pink.
Aphids in lupin crops: their biology and control
Françoise A. Berlandier, Entomologist, South Perth
Aphids are found in narrow-leafed, yellow and Albus lupins, and are mostabundant during budding through to early pod stages. Their ability to rapidlyincrease in number makes them important pests. They can severely reducecrop yields by direct feeding damage which causes flower and pod abortion,and through the removal of large amounts of plant sap, and by polluting plantswith honeydew, which encourages growth of sooty mould. In addition, theytransmit serious virus diseases which can also reduce yields and contaminateseed stocks. The extent of yield losses due to feeding damage is determined bythe variety grown, and rainfall zone where the crop is located.Good crop establishment can minimise potential aphid damage. Sowing earlyand at high seeding rates (80 -100 kg/ha) helps to ensure that the crop ishealthy when aphids are active. Rapid canopy development will also help todeter aphids from landing, which in turn can delay colonisation. However,insecticidal control of aphids may still be necessary when aphids are obviousin a crop at flowering or early pod set. This farmnote describes aphid species,the feeding damage they cause to lupin crops, and ways to manage theproblem. The management of viruses spread by aphids is covered in Bulletin4294 'Virus diseases of lupins'.
Description and biology
Aphids are small (1 to 3 mm long), soft-bodied insects with sap sucking mouthparts and a distinctive pair of cornicles protruding from the back that are notvisible to the naked eye (Figure 1). They are slow-moving and thisdistinguishes them from other small insects found on lupins. Both winged andwingless forms of aphids are common. Populations of the aphid species foundon lupins in WA are entirely female and reproduce by giving birth to liveyoung. The immature forms, called nymphs, go through 4 stages (instars)before reaching maturity. In contrast to red-legged earth mites, they do nothave a dormant or egg stage, which means that the aphids present at the end of a crop cycle have no influence on the numbers found in that paddock thefollowing season.Aphids reproduce very rapidly. A single mature female can produce up to 3young per day, and new-born nymphs can mature in 10-14 days underfavourable conditions. This enables a few aphids on a single lupin plant to"explode" into hundreds of individuals within a few weeks if conditions arefavourable. Aphids thrive in mild conditions, and are most abundant duringlate winter and spring.Winged aphids invade lupin crops from alternate hosts. Carried by windcurrents, aphids can travel hundreds of kilometres, or winged aphids canactively fly over shorter distances. In between growing seasons smallpopulations of aphids survive on roadside weeds or on irrigated plants grown
Farmnote 44/99 : Aphids in lupin crops: their biology and control
Figure 5. Recommended  pattern for monitoring aphid levels in a lupin paddock.Figure 6. Look for clusters of aphids and symptoms of leaf curling on plant inflorescences(tips) when monitoring for aphids. It is important torandomly select plants whenchecking your crop.Figure 7. Adult hoverflies areactive when it gets warmer inlate winter and early spring.Their larvae attack aphids.
over summer. Aphids often build up in number on the edges of a crop beforemoving throughout a paddock.
Species that attack lupins
All five species of aphids found on lupins in WA are introduced. The threemost common species are the cowpea aphid,
 Aphis craccivora
, bluegreenaphid,
 Acyrthosiphon kondoi
and green peach aphid,
 Myzus persicae
. Twoother minor species sporadically recorded on lupin grown on the south coastare the leafcurl plum aphid,
 Brachycaudus helychrisi,
and the potato aphid,
 Macrosiphum euphorbiae.
This farmnote will focus on the three commonaphid species, which often occur together in a lupin paddock.
Best bets
Be aware of the aphid resistance status of the lupin variety you are growing.
Be aware that susceptible varieties grown in low rainfall zones are atgreatest risk to feeding dmage.
Start regular monitoring in your crop when buds first appear until pod set iscomplete
Apply a spray if more than 30 per cent f sampled inflorescences haveclusters of aphids, at times associated with symptoms of curled leavescaused by feeding damage.
Cowpea aphid (CPA) 
The cowpea aphid (Figure 2)measures 1.4 to 2.0 mm and has a black body, and black and white legs. It tends to arrive in lupin crops earlier than greenpeach or bluegreen aphids. They often form dense colonies on a single plantbefore moving onto surrounding plants, and the contrast of their black bodiesagainst green plants make them very visible. Such heavy colonisation cancause rapid wilting. The cowpea aphid's host range includes pasture medics,faba beans and tree lucerne.
Bluegreen aphid (BGA) 
The bluegreen aphid (Figure 3) is the largest of the three common species,measuring 1.5 to 3 mm long. Both the winged and wingless forms are a mattbluish-green, similar to the mature leaves of narrow-leaf lupins, and thewinged form has a light beige thorax. This species prefers to feed on legumes,and is a common pest of medic and sub-clover pastures. Large numbers of winged BGA fly from pastures to lupin crops later in the growing season. Thisspecies builds up to heavy colonies throughout the crop on susceptible lupinvarieties.
Green peach aphid (GPA) 
The green peach aphid (1.2 to 2.3 mm) tends to be shiny or waxy, and rangesfrom yellow, through to green and pink. The yellowy green forms are similarin colour to young unfurled lupin leaves. The winged forms have a dark patchon their backs. GPA tends to be evenly distributed throughout the lupin crop,unlike cowpea aphid, which has a patchy distribution. The size of theircolonies are usually smaller than those of BGA and CPA. GPA colonises awide host range, and are often found on a variety of weeds including wild
Farmnote 44/99 : Aphids in lupin crops: their biology and control

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