A. gossypii

Aphis gossypii Glover, 1877

Melon-cotton aphid

Morphological characters

1.2-2.2 mm.
Apterous: yellowish to dark green, cornicles very dark and cauda paler.
Alate: green to dark green, antennae same length as body, cornicles black, cauda lighter.
Both pale and dark individuals can be encountered within the same colony.

See identification file

Life cycles


Host plants   

Highly polyphagous and often present on sheltered crops (in greenhouses, tunnels).
Cucurbitaceae: Cucumis melo (melon), Cucurbita pepo (courgette), Cucumis sativus (cucumber); also Malvaceae, Rutaceae (Citrus)...

Particular characteristics

Aphis gossypii belongs to the species group of Aphis frangulae from which it is practically indistinguishable.

This species lives in association with ants which exploit its honeydew while giving it protection from its natural enemies.

Agronomic impact

A. gossypii is the most harmful species for Cucurbitaceae.
It causes direct damage that could achieve the almost total destruction of the crop (see ilustration damage on courgette).
It is the vector of many viruses using the non-persistent mode (cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) as well as other mosaic viruses of Cucurbitaceae and the persistent mode (pea leaf-roll virus (PeLRV) and so on).

Natural enemies




In this folder

Modification date : 07 February 2023 | Publication date : 27 September 2010 | Redactor : Evelyne Turpeau, Maurice Hullé, Bernard Chaubet