- Worldwide distribution. On banana and plantains, and relatives, e.g., Heliconia.. Also, on Canna, ginger species, and aroids.
- Damage is done by the aphid spreading Banana bunchy top virus, after 18 hours’ feeding. Once aphid is infected, it stays infected until death.
- Natural enemies: beetles, lacewings, syrphids, parasitoid wasps.
- Cultural control: weed – remove alternate hosts; prune mats of unwanted suckers; plantains are tolerant, and Gros Michel is more tolerant than Dwarf Cavendish.
- Chemical control: if plant has BBTV, remove old leaves, then kill aphids by (i) soap, white or horticultural oils; (ii) derris or pyrethrum; (iii) synthetic pyrethroids; or (v) kerosene or diesel. Spray glyphosate, and after 1 week, remove plant and burn.
Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides
Banana aphid (103)
Photo 1. Colony of banana aphids, Pentalonia nigronervosa. Note the dark colour of the adults and the nymphs. The dark veins of the winged adults can just be seen on the insect at the top left corner.
Photo 2. Banana of different ages showing symptoms of Banana bunchy top virus disease. Notice the stunted plants and the yellow leaves, which are pale yellow at the margins.
AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from Waterhouse DF, Norris KR (1987) Pentalonia nigronervosa Coquerel. Biological Control Pacific Prospects. Inkata Press; and DAF (2017) Banana aphid. Queensland Government. (https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/agriculture/plants/fruit-vegetable/insect-pests/banana-aphid); and from CABI (2019) Pentalonia nigronervosa (banana aphid). Crop Protection Compendium. (https://www.cabi.org/cpc/datasheet/39598). Photo 2 Richard Markham, ACIAR, Canberra.
Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production , implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community