Brachycaudus helichrysi (Kaltenbach)
Common name: Green chrysanthemum aphid, leaf-curling plum aphid.
Geographical distribution: Cosmopolitan.
Host plants: Various Asteraceae (Compositae), including many ornamentals and sunflower (Helianthus annuus Linnaeus). Also some Borraginaceae and Fabaceae. Prunus spp., like peaches and plums, may be heavily infested abroad.
Morphology: The body of the apterous female is greenish, the siphunculi being brown and body length is 1.5-2.1 mm. The head and thorax of alate females are black, the abdomen, including the cauda, is greenish. Body length about 1.6 mm.
Life history: In the Middle East the aphid reproduces by viviparous parthenogenesis on its various herbaceous hosts from mid-winter to mid-summer. Its location during the rest of the year is not known. In Europe B. helichrysi migrates to Prunus spp. in autumn. Development at around 20ºC requires 3-4 weeks and near-freezing temperatures do not harm the aphids.
Economic importance: The feeding of this aphid causes leaf, bud and flower deformation, wilting, stunting and even death of various ornamentals. Abroad it is a serious pest of sunflowers and of stone fruits, reducing their yield. In addition, B. helichrysi can transmit the Plum pox virus (PPV), which causes sharka, a debilitating disease of peaches, and potato viruses.
Monitoring: The occurrence of more than 100 aphid/sunflower plant at the budding stage requires control measures. But when pest numbers at the same stage are lower, and then decrease, no yield losses were predicted.
Chemical control: The highest yield and lowest leaf curl aphid incidence, as compared to the effects of other pesticides, were obtained when an infested peach orcahrd in India was treated with imidacloprid.
Biological control: The pest is attacked by several endoparasitoids of the family Aphidiidae, like Aphidius colemani Viereck. In India predators of the families Coccinellidae and Syrphidae feed on the aphid. In Israel the pest is infected by the entomopathogenic fungus, Erynia neoaphidis Remaudière and Hennebert. The combined effect of these natural enemies on the pest is not known,
Arora, R.K., Gupta, R.K. and Bali, K. 2013. Population dynamics of the leaf curl aphid, Brachycaudus helichrysi (Kalt.) and its natural enemies on subtropical peach, Prunus persica cv. Flordasun. International Journal of Nematology and Entomology 1: 025-030.
Bennett, S.H. 1955. The biology, life history and methods of control of the leaf curling plum aphid Brachycaudus helichrysi (Kltb.). The Journal of Horticultural Science 30: 252-259.
Bokx, J. A. de and Piron, P. G. M. 1990. Relative efficiency of a number of aphid species in the transmission of potato virus YN in the Netherlands. Netherlands Journal of Plant Pathology 96: 237-246.
Lerin, J. and Badenhausser, I. 1995. Influence of the leaf curling plum aphid (Brachycaudus helichrysi) on stem diameter, seed yield, and their relationship in sunflower. Journal of Agricultural Science 125: 211-221.
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.
Mishra, D. N. and Zafer, M. 2005. Evaluation of some newer insecticides for the management of leaf curl aphid Brachycaudus helichrysi (Kalt) in peach orchard under mid-hill conditions of Uttaranchal. Environment and Ecology 23: 376-378.
Swirski, E. and Amitai, S. 1999. Annotated list of aphids (Aphidoidea) in Israel. Israel Journal of Entomology 33: 1-120.
Talhouk, A. S. 1972. Field investigations on Pterochloroides persicae (Chol.) and Brachycaudus helichrysi (Kltb.), two common aphids of the almond tree in Lebanon. Anzeiger für Schädlingskunde und Pflanzenschutz 45: 97-103.