First record of invasive “aphid” in Kashmir Valley

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Context:

  • The brown peach aphid – an insect that attacks temperate fruit trees – has been recorded in Kashmir Valley for the first time.
  • The spread of the aphid could affect the local economy which is dependent on fruit trees to a large extent.

Other facts:

  • Aphids feed on the saps of plants, attacking plant tissues that transport food to all different plant parts.
  • The brown peach aphid “Pterochloroides perscae” is a notorious pest of peach and almond trees in the Mediterranean regions.
  • In India, the aphid was recorded for the first time in the 1970s from Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.
  • Though they were most ‘prolific’ between 20 and 22 degrees Celsius, write the scientists, the brown-and-white patched insects were active in temperatures as low as 3 degrees C.
  • Peach trees were the preferred plants.
  • Several combinations and concentrations of natural chemicals including neem plant extracts and lavender oil can help control aphid numbers.
  • The scientists also note that while the blood-red ant extracted honeydew from the aphid for food, wasps and several other parasites also preyed on the aphids.

Source:TH