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Aphids are often called plant lice. Several species are troublesome pests on above-water leaves (a), stems, and flower buds of aquatic plants. These sucking insects distort succulent new leaves, causing them to curl, wilt, or turn yellow. Adults are 1/8 inch long and can be winged (c) or wingless (b) with soft pear-shaped bodies with two distinctive cornicles or “tailpipes” protruding from the backs of their abdomens. Aphids excrete honeydew, which attracts ants and promotes sooty mold that eventually blackens leaves. The dark green to brown waterlily aphids overwinter as black eggs (d) on nearby plum or cherry trees. Aphids are active in late spring and throughout the summer.
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
April 8, 2015