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Melon and cotton aphid

Aphis gossypii




  • The aphid Aphis gossypii is widely distributed throughout the world. This aphid is a major pest of plants in the Cucurbitaceae family due to its ability to transmit viruses.


  • In Guyana, A. gossypii is also found on tomatoes, aubergines, okra, dachines, citrus fruits and papayas.
  • Distribution in the Overseas Departments:


Mayotte Reunion Guyana
Guadeloupe Martinique New Caledonia


  • Extremely polyphagous, the A. gossypii develops on more than 92 botanical families.


Solanacées Cucurbits Composed
Brassicas Fabaceae Malvacées 
Umbelliferae Alliums  


  • Observed in the open field as well as under shelters.


Symptoms, damage


  • Aphids produce honeydew causing sooty mold to appear on the foliage of infested plants. These fungi when they are in abundance, can limit photosynthesis and lead to a reduction in yield. Sooty mold, if it develops on the fruits, can lead to a reduction in production, but a simple washing can remove it.
  • Aphis gossypii is also known to be an excellent virus vector in cucurbits.
  • In Guyana, it is capable of transmitting the following viruses on cucumber:
    - Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV), Zucchini yellow mosaic virus
    - Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV), Papaya ringspot virus
    - Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), Cucumber mosaic virus.
  • Early attacks by this virus can lead to the total loss of production.




  • In hot climates, Aphis gossypii multiply by parthenogenesis: reproduction takes place without fertilization. The eggs are produced directly by the adult female.
  • The optimum temperature for reproduction is 20 – 25°C: the female then produces an average of 2.8 larvae per day. The aphid reaches maturity after 5 days.
  • The color of A. gossypii can vary from yellow to dark green. The female, 2 mm long, has 2 black cornicles, the antennae are shorter than the body. The ends of the legs are brown.
  • Aphids are usually located on the underside of leaves, often in association with ants guarding them.




  • Weed the crop and its surroundings.
  • Check the sanitary quality of the plants before and during their introduction into the crop or shelter.
  • shelter insect-proof
  • Install  canvases  insect-proof at shelter openings.
  • Detect the first pests thanks to the yellow sticky panels placed above the crop as soon as the plants are introduced.
  • Several auxiliaries have an action on the aphid Aphis gossypii . Auxiliary predators: ladybug and hoverfly larvae eat aphids. Some parasitoid wasps, Aphelinus spp. are known to lay their eggs in aphids.
  • The presence of these natural auxiliaries can be favoured:
    - For Aphelinus and adult Syrphid flies, flower nectar is an important food source that can be provided by spontaneous flora as well as the planting of flower strips.
    - For ladybugs, planting sorghum can promote their presence because this plant can harbor the grass aphid ( Rhopalosiphum maidis ) on which ladybird larvae feed. This specific grass aphid is a source of food for ladybirds and does not attack the main crop (Source Bio Savane).
  • Proper management of fertilization by limiting excess inputs limits the susceptibility of plants to attacks by aphids and other pests.
  • are Insecticides approved against aphids on cucurbits, however, many resistance phenomena are to be deplored and these broad-spectrum products also kill auxiliary fauna. In addition, an insecticide treatment can sometimes be accompanied by the spread of a viral disease: a consequence of hyperactivity of vector aphids on the treated plot.
Last change : 04/28/22
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