Scientific name: Rhopalosiphum maidis (Fitch)
Common name: Maize Aphid; Corn Leaf Aphid
Synonyms: Aphis maidis Fitch
Ethiopian name: Yebekolo Kish Kish
Main hosts: Young leaves of Maize, Sorghum, Barley, Wheat, and other Gramineae
Alternative hosts: Tobacco, Cyperaceae and some other plants
IMPORTANCE IN ETHIOPIA:
Minor pest of: Barley, Maize, Sorghum, Tef, Wheat
Leaves, leaf sheaths and inflorescenses are infested with colonies of aphids. The leaves may become mottled and distorted. Inflorescenses can become sterile. New growth may remain dwarfed. Heavy attacks cause the plant to wilt and die. These aphids are known to be a vector of virus diseases.
INSECT BIOLOGY & RECOGNITION:
Apterae: The apterae are rather elongate aphids. The antennae are short. The colour is yellow green to dark olive green or bluish green. Sometimes they are dusted with wax. Around the base of the siphunculi there are dark purplish areas. The siphunculi are dark and short. The length is 0.9-2.4 mm.
Cultural control: Burn the crop stubbles after harvest.
Often this pest will be kept under control by natural enemies. Therefore the use of chemicals should be carefully considered.
Several other species of aphids have been recorded on cereals in Ethiopia.