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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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Encyclop'Aphid : l'encyclopédie des pucerons


Rhopalosiphum padi (Linnaeus, 1758)

Bird cherry-oat aphid

Rhopalosiphum padi : adulte aptère et larves sur blé
Rhopalosiphum padi : adulte ailé
Rhopalosiphum padi : adulte aptère et colonie sur Prunus padus
Rhopalosiphum padi : virus BYDV

Morphological characters

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

Life cycles

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

Host plants

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.

Particular characteristics

Agronomic impact

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).

Natural enemies



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

Identification file

Read more