Aphis fabae

Aphis fabae Scopoli

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

Common name: Bean aphid

Geographical distribution: Worldwide, except in Australia. CIE Map # 174, 1963.

Host plants: Polyphagous, known to infest members of over 20 plant families.

Morphology: The body of the apterous female is brown to black and the cauda and siphunculi are black. Alate females are mostly black, with a greenish areas on the abdomen. The length of the female body is 1.7-2.8 mm.

Life cycle: In most of the Middle East A. fabae reproduces by parthenogenesis throughout the year; in cooler regions sexual forms occur in the autumn and the females lay overwintering eggs. When host plants become overcrowded during infestation, alatae occur and fly in search of other hosts; The annual solanaceous weed Solanum villosum Miller (woolly nightshade) is a major reservoir host for the pest. Ants, and especially Tapinoma spp., are often associated with the bean aphid.

Economic importance: The feeding of the bean aphid causes leaf and flower deformations that result in yield losses of beet, beans and tomato, and it also transmits several plant viruses. The pest’s honeydew is collected by ants, which appear to protect the pest from its natural enemies. In addition, the pest may also disseminate the spores of fungal plant pathogens.


Chemical control: The pest is susceptible to organophosphates and to acetamiprid, whereas its reproduction seems to be enhanced by pyrethroids.

Biological control: the bean aphid is attacked by predatory Chrysopidae, Coccinellidae and Syrphidae, as well as by endoparasitoids](entry/Endoparasitoids) of the family Aphidiidae, especially Lysiphlebus fabarum (Marchall). Several entomopathogenic fungi also infect the pest.


Hutt, H.J., Van Emden, H.F. and Baker, T. 1994. Stimulation of plant growth and aphid population by a formulation ingredient of cymbush (cypermethrin). Bulletin of Entomological Research 84: 509-513.

Kluth, S., Kruess, A. and Tscharntke, T. 2002. Insects as vectors of plant pathogens: mutualistic and antagonistic interactions. Oecologia 133: 193-199.

Sengonca, C., Griesbach, M. and Lochte, C. 1995. Suitable predator-prey ratios for the use of Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) eggs against aphids on sugar beet under laboratory and field conditions. Zeitschrift für Pflanzenkrankheiten und Pflanzenschutz 102: 113-120.

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

Volkl, W. and Stechmann, D.H. 1998. Parasitism of the black bean aphid (Aphis fabae) by Lysiphlebus fabarum (Hym., Aphidiidae): the influence of host plant and habitat. Journal of Applied Entomology 122: 201-206.

Websites: http://www.arkive.org/black-bean-aphid/aphis-fabae/