(Another) Unexpected Aphid in Strawberries
We wrote last fall about our surprise in finding, Chaetosiphon minor, in garden strawberries near our lab. Our continuing investigations this spring into “common” NC aphids in strawberries has led to the discovery of another unexpected aphid. We received a call from the staff at the Central Crops Agricultural Research Station in Clayton, NC letting us know they found some aphids on strawberries on the plots next to our research plots. Upon bringing them back to the lab, Alejandro Merchan, our aphid-researching graduate student, and Matt Bertone at the NC Plant Disease and Insect Clinic determined the aphids to be Rhodobium porosum, the yellow rose aphid.
As its name implies, the yellow rose aphid is found more frequently in association with ornamental roses than strawberries, but has been occasionally noted on strawberries as far back as 1901. It has been shown to vector strawberry crinkle cytorhabdovirus and strawberry mottle virus, but it is not nearly as well documented a virus vector as the strawberry aphid, Chaetosiphon fragaefolii. Yellow rose aphids spend their whole lifecyle on the same type of host plant and alternate between generations of parthenogenically-reproducing (self-cloning) non-winged females and sexually-reproducing winged males and females.
Specific management recommendations for yellow rose aphids in strawberries are not established, so for now, the species should be managed similarly to other strawberry-infesting aphids. The fact that we keep finding “uncommon” aphids in strawberries might mean that a re-evaluation of the NC strawberry-infesting aphid complex is in order. We will continue to survey for unexpected species.