Aphis craccivora

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Aphis craccivora colony (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Andrew Jensen
Source: Flickr

Aphis craccivora Koch, 1854 - (cowpea aphid)

The aphid is a polyphagous pest with a worldwide distribution. Legumes are the economically most affected crops. These include, for example, cowpea, faba beans and groundnuts (peanuts). Yields can be reduced by up to 50%. A. craccivora transmits various viruses like Cowpea aphid-borne mosaic virus, Alfalfa mosaic virus or Groundnut rosette virus.

In most populations males are missing and females reproduce by parthenogenesis (anholocyclic life cycle) and by giving birth to live nymphs. One generation can be as short as 2 weeks.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Erdnussblattlaus
• English: cowpea aphid
groundnut aphid
• Español: pulgón negro de la alfalfa
• Français: puceron noir de la luzerne
puceron de la gourgane
• Português: pulgão-do-feijoeiro


The wingless adult is approximately 2 mm long and shiny black while the nymphs are gray or dark brown. The antennae of the adults are white except for the tips, and the legs are dark at the bases, creamy white on most of the tibiae and blackish at the tips.