Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Cabbage (mustard) aphid (332)

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  • Worldwide distribution. On plants in cabbage family and related weeds. An important pest.
  • Infestations cause: (i) curling, yellowing and stunting, especially mustards; (ii) honeydew that spoils quality; and (iii) spread of viruses.
  • Adults 1.7 mm long. Wingless - greenish-yellow, covered in fine wax, with green bands along top of the body, and dark antennae. Winged - shiny black heads and prothorax (segment behind head), and green abdomen. In tropics, females give birth to living young without mating.
  • Spread by winged forms in wind currents.
  • Natural enemies: many predators and parasitoid wasps (e.g., Diaeretiella, Aphidius, Aphelinus).
  • Cultural control: nursery hygiene: clean trays, pasteurise soil or use soilless mixes; avoid planting next to, or down-wind from infested crops; weed; remove infested leaves; destroy ant colonies with boiling water (or insecticides); collect and destroy debris after harvest.
  • Chemical control: (i) PDPs (derris, chilli, garlic, neem, pyrethrum); (ii) soap solution, horticultural or white oils (see Fact Sheet no. 56). Avoid broad-spectrum products. Only use e.g., synthetic pyrethroids to kill ants.
Common Name

Cabbage aphid, mustard aphid, turnip aphid.

Scientific Name

Lipaphis erysimi, previously known as Lipaphis pseudobrassicae and Rhopalosiphum pseudobrassicae.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from CABI (2017) Lipaphis erysimi (mustard aphid). Crop Protection Compendium. (; and Lipaphis erysimi (Kaltenbach) (2007) Crop Knowledge Master Department of Entomology, Honolulu, Hawaii. (; and from MAF (New Zealand) Plant Health & Environment (2011) Turnip Aphid (Lipaphis erysimi): PaDIL - ( Photo 1-3 Alton N. Sparks, Jr., University of Georgia, Photo 4 Caroline Smith, University of Tasmania, Australia.

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.

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