Monday, April 16, 2012

Yellow pecan aphid

    I was look looking at our crop of pistillate flowers when I spotted a few drops of honeydew on the leaves. Honeydew is the tell-tale sign that aphids are feeding on the foliage. In this case, I found yellow pecan aphids (photo above). Aphids feed on the underside of the leaves usually right along the midrib, just like the wingless nymph above. The winged adult didn't like the bright sunshine and was already moving off to find a feeding spot in the shade.
   Early season aphids are not normally a problem in our native pecan groves because we have plenty of beneficial insects to keep them in check. In looking through the foliage, I found a cluster of lady beetle eggs laid on the underside of a pecan leaflet (photo at right). Lady beetle adults respond to the presence of honeydew and lay their eggs in a location where they know that there will be plenty of aphids around to provide food for their larvae.