Acyrthosiphon pisum

Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris)

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Hemimetabola, Hemiptera, Sternorrhyncha, Aphidoidea, Aphididae.

Common name: Pea aphid.

Geographical distribution: Cosmopolitan, occurring almost wherever members of the family Papilionaceae are grown. CIE Map #23, 1982 (revised).

Host plants: Mostly restricted to cultivated and wild members of the Papilionaceae.

Morphology: The body of apterous and alate females is green to yellow, as are the siphunculi and cauda. The antennae are longer than the body.

Life cycle: The pea aphid reproduces by viviparous parthenogenesis around the year, its populations peaking in spring. Each female produces 60-70 progeny.

Economic importance: The feeding of the pea aphid causes leaf curling, wilting and a general reduction in the yield of commercial legumes, especially alfalfa and clover. No sootymold damage is associated with this pest, because like other aphids with long antennae, its output of honeydew is meager.


Plant resistance: Some varieties of alfalfa and clover are resistant to this pest.

Chemical control: If necessary, the pest can be controlled with neem products or with organophosphates.

Biological control: The main natural enemies of the pea aphid are the aphidiid endoparasitoids Aphidius ervi Halliday and Aphidius urticae Halliday, and several entomopathogenic fungi; their individual contribution to the pest’s control is not known.


Basedow, T., Ossiewatsch, H.R., Vega, J.A.B., Kollmann, S., El Shafie, H.A.F. and Nicol, C.M.Y. 2002. Control of aphids and whiteflies (Homoptera: Aphididae and Aleyrodidae) with different Neem preparations in laboratory, greenhouse and field: effects and limitations. Zeitschrift fur Pflanzenkrankheiten und Pflanzenschutz 109: 612-623.

Mescheloff, E. and Rosen, D. 1990. Biosystematic studies on the Aphidiidae of Israel (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonoidea). 4. The genera Pauesia, Diaeretus, Aphidius and Diaeretiella. Israel Journal of Entomology 24: 51-91.

Swirski, E. and Amitai, S. 1999. Annotated list of aphids (Aphidoidea) in Israel. Israel Journal of Entomology 33: 1-120.