The adult wingless form is rather large, at 2.5 - 4.4mm long, and usually either pale green or pink. It has long slender appendages, including two long pale slender tubes (siphunculi) at the rear end and a long pale tail (cauda). The winged form is also large at 2.3 - 4.3mm long.
Host plants/Life cycle
This aphid spends all year living on leguminous plants. Eggs and active forms overwinter low down on various clovers, lucerne, sainfoin and trefoils. The eggs hatch in February and March, and winged forms are produced during May, which then migrate to peas and other legumes. Numbers usually reach a peak in late June and early July, although populations can remain noticeable on successive sowings of peas through to early autumn. There is a small autumn migration in late September back to the overwintering sites.
This aphid is generally a moderate pest on peas, only occasionally causing major damage. It causes direct feeding damage by feeding on the young growing points of peas, causing stunting, and subsequent distortion and yellowing of leaves and pods. The crops beginning to flower are most susceptible, especially if this coincides with the population peak in late June/early July. Heavy infestation on culinary peas can significantly reduce yields. This species also merits pest status because of its ability to transmit more than 30 plant viruses, in particular Pea leaf roll virus, Pea enation mosaic virus, Pea mosaic virus and Pea seed borne mosaic virus. It is also known to cause economic damage to field beans by the transmission of Bean leaf roll virus.
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