The Russian wheat aphid

RWA is one the world's most economically important pests of wheat, barley and other cereal grains. It is native to southern Russia, the Middle East and Central Asia, but since the late 1970s and early 1980s, has rapidly spread to other major grain producing regions in Europe, Africa, North America and South America. Unlike other cereal aphids that damage plants by removing nutrients, RWA also injects salivary toxins during feeding that cause rapid, systemic phytotoxic effects on plants, resulting in acute plant symptoms and potentially significant yield losses.

Page Last Reviewed: 03 Jun 2016
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