Document Type

Peer-Review Article


Outbreaks of cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) disease, caused by an aphid- transmitted pathogen, greatly reduced yields of bell pepper in southern Illinois in the mid-1990s. To provide the basis for further studies of the roles of individual apbid species in virus transmission, we surveyed aphid flights in and around pepper fields in 1996 and 1997 by using suction traps, interception nets, landing traps, sweep nets, and hand-picking. We collected 78 species of aphids, 15 of which have been reported to transmit CMV to peppers. The most abundant species taken from suction traps and interception nets in combination were Lipaphis erysimi, Rhopalosiphum padi, Rhopalosiphum maidis, Schizaphis graminum, and Aphis craccivora. All of these species are known to transmit CMV to peppers, but the phenology of R. maidis in Illinois suggests it is not the vector that brings CMV to pepper fields to initiate disease outbreaks. Brachycaudus helichrysi was relatively abundant in 1996 in May and June when a CMV outbreak may have been initiated; it was absent in 1997, and CMV infections were rare that season. Two species, Carolinaia carolinensis and Myzus hemerocallis were recorded for the first time in Illinois.

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Entomology Commons