Melon Aphid, Aphis gossypii (Hemiptera: Aphididae)
The melon aphid is a polyphagous species capable of feeding and reproducing on plants in over 90 plant families. There are over 72 crops in over 32 plant families worldwide that require some kind of human intervention for managing this aphid. This aphid is considered a pest in crops produced both in the field and in the greenhouse. Host plant damage includes direct feeding and transmission of plant pathogenic viruses. Reproduction in this aphid is entirely asexual in warmer climates, but includes a sexual phase in colder climates. Aphids of any given clonal line do not have the ability to utilize the entire host range reported for this species. Indirect damage by this aphid may also occur through the production of honeydew. Honeydew is a sugary liquid excreted by aphids to eliminate excess carbon and water. Honeydew coats plant surfaces below the aphid colony. Fungi able to utilize honeydew as a food source then cover the plant surface, thereby reducing the light reaching the...
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