Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Maize aphid (330)

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  • Widespread distribution. Maize, sorghum, barley, millet, and many grasses. Rarely important in Pacific islands.
  • Damage: (i) feeds on sap causing distortions and wilts; (ii) produces honeydew leading to sooty moulds on leaves, and prevents release of pollen (maize); (iii) spreads viruses - but not in Pacific islands.
  • Females produce living young without mating; nymphs light green, becoming bluish or olive green adults, up to 2 mm long, rectangular; base of 'conicles' (upright tubes) purple.
  • Winged forms when populations large. Spread also in wind currents.
  • Natural enemies: ladybird beetles and parasitoid wasps (Aphelinus, Lysiphlebus).
  • Cultural control: plant far from old infested crops, hot water to kill ants; weed; collect and destroy debris after harvest; tolerant varieties (maize, sorghum).
  • Chemical control: PDPs (chilli, derris, neem, pyrethrum); soap, white or horticultural oils; synthetic pyrethroids will kill predators and parasitoids (but useful against ants).
Common Name

Maize aphid, corn leaf aphid, green corn aphid

Scientific Name

Rhopalosiphum maidis

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from CABI (2015) Rhopalosiphum maidis (green corn aphid). Crop Protection Compendium. (; and Rhopalosiphum maidis (Fitch) (1992) Crop Knowledge Master Department of Entomology, Honolulu, Hawaii. (; and Mound L, et al. (2007) corn leaf aphid (Rhopalosiphum maidis): PaDIL - (; and from Rhopalosiphum maidis. Wikipedia. ( Photo 1 Eric Burkness, Photo 2 Kansas Department of Agriculture, Photo 3 Brendan Wray, AphD, USDA APHIS ITP,

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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