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The rose aphid Macrosiphum rosae

The rose aphid Macrosiphum rosae is a globally distributed species, whose presence is described almost worldwide, except for eastern Asia.

Rose aphids are from medium-sized to rather large (4 mm as average), broadly spindle-shaped, shiny, and pale to dark green or deep pink to red-brown, with shiny black head. Antennae and legs are bicoloured yellow and black. Head and siphunculi are shiny black and the cauda is pale yellow. Siphunculi cylindrical and rather thick, bending slightly upward. The dorsal abdomen is usually without marginal sclerites, although sometimes small black sclerites occur.

Wingless females are often seen in large number on stems and buds of roses and in particular in the soft growing tips of the rose.

M. rosae feeds mostly on roseaceous plants, but it is known to feed on species in 15 other plant families (such as Malus sp., Prunus domestica and Pyrus sp). Despite its presence on different host plants, the economic impact of M. rosae is primarily due to feeding damage on cultivated roses; hence damages to other crops are rare. It has been implicated in the transmission of at least 11 plant viruses, including the persistent Strawberry mild yellow edge virus. However, M. rosae is not a vector of any viruses affecting rose species.

Most M. rosae populations on host plants are relatively small, because natural enemies (coccinellids beetles, syrphid larvae and lacewings) keep them in check.


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© Mauro Mandrioli

Supplier: Mauro Mandrioli

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