R. padi

Rhopalosiphum padi (Linnaeus, 1758)

Bird cherry-oat aphid


1.2-2.4 mm, dark green and globular in shape.
Apterous: reddish spot around insertion points of cornicles.
Alate: antennae dark and shorter than body; marginal sclerites on abdomen and a larger one at base of cornicles; cornicles straight, pigmented, with a constriction at tip, cauda short and pigmented.

See identification file


Dioecious  holocyclic .
Anholocyclic on Poaceae in zones with mild climate.


Primary host: Prunus padus (bird cherry), 3rd photo shows a colony on Prunus padus
Secondary hosts: cultivated Poaceae: Triticum (wheat), Hordeum (barley), Zea (maize) and also wild species.



R. padi colonizes spring cereals which are the most badly affected. It causes direct damage by its injections in the leaves of grass species which roll up into a spiral.
During the summer, it migrates and develops on maize. In the autumn, at the end of the growing cycle of maize, the anholocyclic populations migrate onto the seedbeds and regrowing shoots of winter cereals where they transmit viruses responsible for barley yellow dwarf disease  (BYDV) (see photo of damage above).




  • Monoctonus caricis
  • Praon abjectum
  • Praon gallicum
  • Praon volucre
  • Trioxys auctus

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Modification date : 24 January 2024 | Publication date : 08 November 2010 | Redactor : Evelyne Turpeau, Maurice Hullé, Bernard Chaubet