Black Willow Bark Aphid

Pterocomma salicis

Black Willow Bark Aphid

by chris_dagorne (All rights reserved)
1 of 4
A close up of a colony Black Willow Bark Aphid insects Pterocomma salicis
by chris_dagorne (All rights reserved)
1 of 4
Black Willow Bark Aphids are small, sap-sucking insects. This species feeds on the twigs of Willow plants. Aphids aggregate in large groups on Willow. They have close relationships with ants, who harvest honeydew produced by the aphids. Honeydew is a sweet sticky solution. It can be problematic because it encourages the growth of black mould on plants.
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Traits

Can stunt the growth of small Willow plants.
Eaten by ladybugs and lacewing larvae.

Appearance

Adults: The adult aphids are pear-shaped and black-grey with white spots and a pair of red spikes on the rear end. They're under 0.5 cm. Nymphs: Smaller and paler grey.

Symptoms

Copious amounts of honeydew may be evident near the site aphids are present. Honeydew can encourage the growth of black mould, so this may be notable too. Ants will protect aphids from some garden predators. Healthy Willow plants will survive damage.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Hemiptera

Family

Aphididae

Metamorphosis

Incomplete

Distribution

The UK and Europe, Asia, North America

Biological treatment

These aphids provide an abundance of food for wildlife active during autumn. Despite their large numbers, they don't seem to affect overall tree health. Healthy, established trees can withstand damage. Spiders, ladybugs, lacewing, and hoverfly larvae eat aphids. You can attract these to your garden by providing insect habitats. These include things like hanging baskets, climbing plants, shrubs & trees, or strips of wildflowers. If aphid colonies become too large and plants begin to suffer, give plants a spray of soapy water or jet them off with the garden hose.

Attracts

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Plant Knowledge

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