Sipha maydis: Distribution and Host Range of a New Aphid Pest of Winter Cereals in Argentina

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Sipha maydis (Passerini) is a new aphid pest of cereals and cultivated and wild grasses in Argentina. This species was recently introduced into America, and nothing is known of its distribution or host range in South America. A better understanding of its biology is likely to facilitate control. This article records 1) the distribution and 2) the host range of S. maydis in Argentina. Over the period 2004–2006 samples were collected from 32 populations at several localities in Argentina. The number of S. maydis, accompanying aphid species, and the host from which they were collected were recorded. The distribution of S. maydis ranged from 32° 52′ to 42° 03′ S, and from 57° 41′ to 71° 24′ W, bounded by isothermals 18 and 10°C and isohyets 200–400 and <1,200 mm. No S. maydis were found in the subtropical region, even in winter. In the field, the different populations showed very different host preferences. S. maydis was found mainly on cultivated barley and wheat and on wild Bromus spp. and Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers. No aphids were found on maize, Zea mays L. Most of the damage to winter cereal crops occurred at the seedling stage in early autumn and of adult plants when infestations occurred in late spring. In the 4 yr after the first record of S. maydis in Argentina, it colonized a huge area similar to that colonized by Diuraphis noxia (Mordvilko) in 10 yr. The wide range of regions, hosts and climatic conditions this species is adapted to is likely to make the control of this pest very difficult.

Keywords: Sipha maydis; cereal pest; geographical distribution; host preference

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2007

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