Brief SummaryRead full entry
Aphis glycines, like many aphid species, has a complex life cycle involving host switching between two very different type of host plants. Asexual morphs of A. glycines spend the summer feeding on soybeans, using piercing and sucking mouthparts to suck sap from the plants. After about 15 generations on soybean, they produce winged alates which migrate to their primary host plant, Rhamnus (buckthorn), where they form sexual morphs, which mate and lay eggs. In North America they especially prefer Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn), which was introduced as an ornamental plant from Europe and Asia, but they also use native species. Soybean aphids overwinter as eggs on Rhamnus and return in the spring to their soybean host.
In contrast to Asia, where A. glycines has much pressure from many species of predatory, parasitic and pathogenetic enemies, in North America its dominant natural enemies are generalist predators, such as the insidious flower bug (Orius insidiosus (Say), lady beetles (Coccinellidae spp.), lacewings (Chrysoperla spp. and Hemerobius spp.), damsel bugs (Nabis spp.), big eyed bugs (Geocoris spp.), spined soldier bugs (Podisus maculiventris (Say)), hover flies (Syrphidae spp.), and the aphid midge (Aphidoletes aphidimyza (Rondani)). Because the soybean aphid is a recent introduction to North America, control methods are still developing. Pesticide application is the most effective means of control, but foliar applications, which are the most successful, may impact beneficial and effective predators. Seed treatments are also available but their efficacy is less consistent.
(Hartman et al 2001; Tilmon et al 2011; Wikipedia 2011)