New invasive aphid Sipha maydis found in South Carolina

A new aphid pest of wheat, Sipha maydis, was found for the first time in South Carolina in April 2016. This species is found in Europe, Asia and parts of Africa. The aphid was found in Argentina in 2002, and in the U.S. in California in 2007, in a greenhouse in Georgia in 2012, in Florida on produce from California in 2011 and 2012, in New Mexico in 2014, and in Alabama on wheat in 2015. The aphid was found in 2016 in Hampton County in South Carolina in a field of rye mixed with some wheat plants. Although aphids were found on both plants, they were more abundant on wheat.

The dark color and the hairs on the abdomen make this species easy to identify. See this reference for photos and more information. The insect has been reported to feed on a range of grass hosts, including wheat, oats, barley, johnsongrass, sorghum, and corn. The insect is of particular concern in small grain crops as it can transmit barley yellow dwarf virus.

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