Toxoptera citricida (Hemiptera: Aphididae)
oriental citrus aphid, tropical citrus aphid
black citrus aphid, Toxoptera aurantii
cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii
cowpea aphid, Aphis craccivora
mango aphid, Toxoptera odinae
oleander aphid, Aphis neri
spirea aphid, Aphis spiraecola
United States: Florida.
Worldwide: Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, and South America.
All Citrus species and their hybrids.
No confirmed alternate hosts.
Brown citrus aphids are considered one of the most serious pests of citrus. They reproduce both sexually and asexually (parthenogenesis) to produce live young. They are typically found in large numbers covering stems, leaf veins, and the underside of leaves. They prefer new growth. They are reported to feed exclusively on species of Citrus or other plants in the family Rutaceae. Winged forms of the brown citrus aphid typically develop when new growth is no longer available on the tree so they can disperse. Aphids are capable of wide dispersal and can travel up to 30 kilometers.
Brown citrus aphids are known to efficiently transmit Citrus tristeza virus (CTV). Citrus propagated on sour orange rootstock are particularly susceptible to the virus. The melon or cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii, and several other species can also transmit CTV. Current isolates of CTV only affect trees on susceptible root stocks such as sour orange; no resistant root stock is known for CTV. CTV can cause major economic losses. A tree infected with CTV typically dies within 1-5 years.
All phloem-feeding, honeydew-producing insect pests have the potential to be tended by ants. The ants feed on the honeydew excreted by the pest and protect the pest from natural enemies. This protection can disrupt biological control programs.
Synonyms of the brown citrus aphid include Aphis citricidus.
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