Rhopalosiphum maidis (Fitch)

Aphid colony attended by ants on maize.
Aphid colony attended by ants on maize.

Scientific name: Rhopalosiphum maidis (Fitch)
Common name: Maize Aphid; Corn Leaf Aphid
Synonyms: Aphis maidis Fitch
Ethiopian name: Yebekolo Kish Kish

Order: Homoptera
Family: Aphididae

Main hosts: Young leaves of Maize, Sorghum, Barley, Wheat, and other Gramineae
Alternative hosts: Tobacco, Cyperaceae and some other plants

Minor pest of: Barley, Maize, Sorghum, Tef, Wheat

Winged adult of Rhopalosiphum maidis
Winged adult of Rhopalosiphum maidis
Leaves, leaf sheaths and inflorescenses are infested with colonies of aphids. The leaves may become mottled and distorted. Inflorescenses can become sterile. New growth may remain dwarfed. Heavy attacks cause the plant to wilt and die. These aphids are known to be a vector of virus diseases.

Apterae: The apterae are rather elongate aphids. The antennae are short. The colour is yellow green to dark olive green or bluish green. Sometimes they are dusted with wax. Around the base of the siphunculi there are dark purplish areas. The siphunculi are dark and short. The length is 0.9-2.4 mm.

Larva of Rhopalosiphum maidis
Larva of Rhopalosiphum maidis
Alatae: The alatae have a yellow green to dark green abdomen without the dark dorsal markings near the siphunculi. They are 0.9-2.4 mm long.

Cultural control: Burn the crop stubbles after harvest.
Often this pest will be kept under control by natural enemies. Therefore the use of chemicals should be carefully considered.

Several other species of aphids have been recorded on cereals in Ethiopia.

Aphid  colony on maize
Rhopalosiphum maidis
Colony on maize

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