A. fabae

Aphis fabae Scopoli, 1763

Black bean aphid

Morphological characters

1.5 -2.6 mm.
Apterous: stockier, matt black to greenish, nymphs are recognizable with three pairs of white waxy spots on abdomen.
Alate: dark, antennae short, cornicles short and black, cauda short, squat and black.

See identification file

Life cycles

Dioecious holocyclic and anholocyclic in regions with mild climate.

Host plants   

Highly polyphagous, more than 200 host plants.
Primary hosts: Euonymus europaeus (spindle-tree), Viburnum opulus (guelder-rose or water elder).
Secondary hosts: Fabaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Solanaceae, diverse crops of flowers and ornamental plants.

Particular characteristics

A. fabae forms sleeve-like colonies on the secondary host plants, sometimes extremely dense.

Agronomic impact

In France, this is the second most harmful species after Myzus persicae. It leads to substantial damage because it colonizes crops as widely different as beet, potato, tobacco, sunflower or rapeseed, although it does have a preference for Fabaceae.
It is vector of a large number of viruses in the different plant families encountered. On beet, it transmits serious beet yellow (BYV) and mild beet yellow virus (BMYV) which provoke yield losses in sugar due to decreased beet tonnage at harvest.

Natural enemies

The action of parasites (insects and entomopathogenic fungi) plus predators is effective for reducing such aphid populations.



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Modification date : 07 February 2023 | Publication date : 23 September 2010 | Redactor : Evelyne Turpeau, Maurice Hullé, Bernard Chaubet