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Cicadas True Bugs and Relatives: Hemiptera - Pea Aphid (acyrthosiphon Pisum): Species Accounts

plants larvae peas aphids

Physical characteristics: Pea aphids are small, green, insects (either with or without wings) measuring 0.08 to 0.16 inches (2 to 4 millimeters) in length. They have red eyes and threadlike antennae as long as the body. The legs are also long and slender. Wings, if present, are clear. Projections on the abdomen are long and slender. The larvae resemble small, wingless adults.


Geographic range: They are found on all continents except Antarctica.


Habitat: Pea aphids live on their food plants. They are especially fond of plants related to peas, such as alfalfa, beans, clovers, peas, and other crops.


Diet: Adults and larvae suck sap from leaves, stems, and flowers.

Pea aphids live on food plants. They are especially fond of peas and other plants related to peas, such as alfalfa, beans, clover, and other crops. (Illustration by John Megahan. Reproduced by permission.)

Behavior and reproduction: Females survive through the winter on food plants. Winged males and females appear in spring. Adults and larvae feed in dense patches on plants.

The species reproduces by parthenogenesis all year long in warmer climates. In some areas they alternate between mating and parthenogenesis.


Pea aphids and people: This species can become a pest of alfalfa crops but is usually effectively controlled by using the parasitoid (PAE-re-sih-toyd) wasp. The larvae of parasitoids feed inside the body of the host, eventually killing it.


Conservation status: This species is not endangered or threatened. ∎

Cicadas True Bugs and Relatives: Hemiptera - Seventeen-year Cicada (magicicada Septendecim): Species Accounts [next] [back] Cicadas True Bugs and Relatives: Hemiptera - Greenhouse Whitefly (trialeurodes Vaporariorum): Species Accounts

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