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Mustard Aphid

Mustard Aphid (Lipaphis erysimi)


  • Aphids are small, soft-bodied, pearl-shaped insects that have a pair of cornicles (honey tubes) projecting out from the fifth or sixth abdominal segment.
  • There are four nymphal stages (instars).
  • Wingless, female, aphids are yellowish green, gray green or olive green with a white waxy bloom covering the body.
  • .
  • The winged, female, adult aphids have a dusky green abdomen with dark lateral stripes separating the body segments and dusky wing veins.
  • Male aphids are olive-green to brown in color.
  • The aphid attacks generally during December and continues till March.
  • The most favourable temperature is 200C or below.
  • Cloudy and cold weather help in accelerating the growth of insects.
  • About 45 generations are completed in a year.

         Nature of Damage

  • Plants are infested at all the stages.
  • Both nymph and adults suck the sap from leaves, inflorescence or the developing pods.
  • Curling may occur for infested leaves and at advanced stage plants may wither and die.

Control Measures

Cultural Control

  • Use tolerant varieties like JM-1 and RK-9501.
  • The crop sown before 20th October escape the damage.
  • Apply recommended dose of fertilizers.

Mechanical Control

  • Destroy the affected parts along with aphid population in the initial stage.

Biological Control

  • Ladybird beetles viz., Cocciniella septempunctata, , Hippodamia variegata and cheilomones vicina are most effcient pradators of the mustard aphid. Adult beetle may feed an average of 10 to 15 adults/day.
  • Several species of syrphid fly i.e., Sphaerophoria spp., Eristallis spp., Metasyrphis spp., Xanthogramma spp and Syrphus spp. are predating on aphids.
  • The lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea predates on the mustard aphid colony.

Chemical Control

  • Spraying should be done at ETL level.
  • Spraying should be done in evening time.
  • Spray the crop with one of the following insecticides in the aphid appearance; Imidacloprid 17.8% @ 0.25 ml/l,Thiamethoxam 25 WG @ o.2g/l, Dimethoate 30EC @ 1 ml/l of water.

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.