Mustard aphid: identification and control strategies

Bhumika Rawat Ashutosh and Roopam Kunwar


Indian mustard is more susceptible to insect pests than other oil seed crops due to which insect pests becomes the major factor in its low yield. Mustard aphid, Cabbage aphid, Mustard sawfly, Cabbage butterfly, Painted bug, Mustard leaf eater, leaf miner, thrips and whitefly are the pests causing damage to the mustard crop. Among all these pests, mustard aphid (Lipaphis erysimi Kalt.) is the most destructive pest in India. Being an obligate ectoparasite it causes a bulk of the qualitative and quantitative loss in rapeseed-mustard crops. The adults of mustard aphid are soft bodied and vary in color. They are mostly yellowish-greenish, small to medium-sized, globular, and pear-shaped, with distinct wing dimorphism on the basis of availability of resources. Mustard aphids harm crops by sucking plant sap, causing visible damage like leaf curling and yellowing. They also excrete honeydew, leading to sooty mold that hampers photosynthetic activity of the plant, and contribute to virus transmission like turnip mosaic virus. A weather variation plays an important role in appearance, multiplication, and disappearance of mustard aphid. Cold, rainy, and overcast weather promotes its profuse multiplication. Some cultural techniques to manage the aphid population include fertilizer applications at the recommended dose, irrigation, and resistant cultivars. Natural enemies are beneficial for crop protection nowadays. Coccinella septempunctata, Hippodamia variegata, and Cheilomenes vicina are active predators of this pest. The mustard aphid population can be kept below Economic threshold level by using systemic pesticides like Imidacloprid 17.8SL @ 0.25 ml/l, Thiamethoxam 25WG @ 0.2 g/l and Dimethoate 30EC @ 1 ml/l of water. This article reviews the general overview of identification, biology, life cycle, nature of damage, population dynamics and different management practices of mustard aphid


Mustard aphid, management, rapeseed-mustard, yield loss

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