Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 10, 2006
Publication Date: September 15, 2006
Citation: Bancroft, J.S. 2006. Comparison of two species of aphids (homoptera: aphididae) on nine host-plants using age specific fecundity and survival. Southwestern Entomologist. 31:233-243. Interpretive Summary: Cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii Glover) and green peach aphid (Myzus persicae Sulzer) are serious pests that cause economic losses in many crops. The ability of weeds to provide winter refuges is important for summer population resurgence of aphids. This study ranked the suitability of nine host-plants in the laboratory. The cotton aphid had largest population growth on bean, kenaf, and shepherd’s purse. The green peach aphid had largest growth on shepherd’s purse, fiddleneck, pepper, and malva. Pepper was a poor host for cotton aphid, while cotton was a poor host for green peach aphid, and pigweed was a poor host for both aphid species. The utility of the results may be extended to field prediction of populations using temperatures dependent developmental rates. Aphid control may be improved by using the ranking of host-plants to select key overwintering weeds for management.
Technical Abstract: The cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii (L.) (CA) and green peach aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (GPA), are polyphagus sap feeders and major crop pests. CA has become an important cotton pest, causing mid-season damage and now late season concerns over lint contamination with honeydew (called sticky cotton). GPA vectors plant disease such as Virus Yellows that may cause 30% losses in beets. This study characterized nine host plants for age-specific fecundity and survival. Individuals were held on detached leaves in petri dishes in an incubator under controlled light, temperature, and humidity. Jackknife resampling was used to statistically test for differences among demographic variables. The cotton aphid had greatest intrinsic rate of increase on bean, kenaf, and shepherd’s purse. The green peach aphid had greatest intrinsic rate of increase on shepherd’s purse, fiddleneck, pepper, and malva. Pepper was a poor host for cotton aphid, while cotton was a poor host for green peach aphid, and Powell’s amaranth was a poor host for both aphid species. Variations in the ranking patterns of host plants among fecundity, survival, and intrinsic rate of increase are discussed. Phylogenetic relationships among plants did not show a consistent pattern with aphid suitability. Previous studies indicate how the results may be used to predict population growth at other temperatures, which will be useful for field predictions of aphid populations. The information may be used to manage the seasonal migration of aphids from weedy overwintering hosts to crops.