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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Cotton Aphid (Homoptera: Aphididae) Biology, Honeydew Production, Sugar Quality and Quantity, and Relationships to Sticky Cotton

Authors
item Henneberry, Thomas
item Jech, Lynn
item De La Torre, Theresa
item Hendrix, Donald

Submitted to: Southwest Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Cotton aphids excretions, called honeydew, contain a mixture of sugars that cause sticky cotton lint. Sticky cotton lint gums up lint processing machinery at textile mills. We found that wingless adults female aphids produced about 1.7 nymphs per day and the nymphs developed to adults in 4.1 days. Adults lived 16.1 days. More honeydew drops were produced by one- day old nymphs than three- or four- day old nymphs. There were no differences between amounts of glucose, fructose, trehalulose, or melezitose produced by nymphs of different ages. But one- and two- day old nymphs produced more sucrose than four-day-old but not three-day-old nymphs. Adults alone and adults plus their nymphs in leaf cages over 28 and 24 days, respectively, produced 1.83 and 2.68 micrograms of sugar per day. More honeydew drops, sugars, (except trehalulose and melezitose) and progeny were produced by adults at 26.7 deg C compared with 15.6 or 32.2 deg C. Increasing times of exposure of clean cotton lint to aphids and th resulting increasing amounts of honeydew sugars under laboratory and field conditions were significantly related to increasing cotton lint stickiness as measured with a thermodetector.

Technical Abstract: Cotton aphids excretions, called honeydew, contain a mixture of sugars that cause sticky cotton lint. Sticky cotton lint gums up lint processing machinery at textile mills. We found that wingless adults female aphids produced about 1.7 nymphs per day and the nymphs developed to adults in 4.1 days. Adults lived 16.1 days. More honeydew drops were produced by one- day old nymphs than three- or four- day old nymphs. There were no differences between amounts of glucose, fructose, trehalulose, or melezitose produced by nymphs of different ages. But one- and two- day old nymphs produced more sucrose than four-day-old but not three-day-old nymphs. Adults alone and adults plus their nymphs in leaf cages over 28 and 24 days, respectively, produced 1.83 and 2.68 micrograms of sugar per day. More honeydew drops, sugars, (except trehalulose and melezitose) and progeny were produced by adults at 26.7 deg C compared with 15.6 or 32.2 deg C. Increasing times of exposure of clean cotton lint to aphids and th resulting increasing amounts of honeydew sugars under laboratory and field conditions were significantly related to increasing cotton lint stickiness as measured with a thermodetector.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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