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Several species of sap sucking aphids can suck sap from the leaves, shoot tips and flower stalks of raspberry, blackberry and other hybrid berries.
Raspberry with virus transmitted by aphids
Aphids are sap-sucking true bugs that are also known as greenfly or blackfly, several species can affect raspberries, blackberries and other hybrid berries.
There are several species of aphid which can affect raspberry, blackberries, hybrid berries and brambles. They can cause various degrees of leaf distortion and a lack of vigour. They can also transmit plant viruses (see main image for virus-infected raspberries). Frequently encountered species include:
Large European Raspberry aphid, Amphorophora idaei. A pale yellowish green aphid that reaches 4mm in length. The aphid affects raspberries but does not cause damage directly it is however a raspberry virus vector and can transmit raspberry necrosis virus, raspberry leaf mottle virus, raspberry leaf spot virus and rubus yellow net virus. The aphid overwinters as eggs at the base of raspberry stems, these hatch in March the aphids feeding on the shoot tips. Later the aphids live on the undersides of leaves. Winged adults are produced in summer and distribute to other raspberry plants.
Large blackberry aphid, Amphorophora rubi. This species is very similar in appearance and lifecycle to the large European raspberry aphid but affects blackberry and not raspberry.
Small European raspberry, Aphis idaei. This small (2mm long) light green or yellowish aphid affects raspberries and loganberries. Spring infestations can cause leaf curl but it is more important a a vectors of raspberry vein chlorosis virus. This aphid overwinters as eggs in axils and the base of buds towards the top of canes. The eggs hatch in late march and can form dense colonies at the shoot tips. Winged aphids are produced during the summer months which can spread to other bushes.
Scarce blackberry aphid, Macrosiphum funestum. This dull green 4mm long aphid can infest blackberry but it has limited effects on plant vigour or cropping. The aphid overwinters as eggs on the canes. The eggs hatch in spring and colonies can be most obvious in May and June at the shoot tips.
Whilst the raspberry and blackberry aphids do not often directly damage plants they can however, transmit viruses and so control may be considered necessary.
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