, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 497-505,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 18 Oct 2012

Probing behavior of bird cherry-oat aphid Rhopalosiphum padi (L.) on native bird cherry Prunus padus L. and alien invasive black cherry Prunus serotina Erhr. in Europe and the role of cyanogenic glycosides


The probing behavior of bird cherry-oat aphid Rhopalosiphum padi was studied on its natural winter host in Europe, the bird cherry Prunus padus, and on the invasive black cherry Prunus serotina, on which spring generations of R. padi do not survive. The EPG-recorded behavior of R. padi on bird cherry and black cherry showed differences in crucial aspects of probing and feeding. The period of the pre-phloem penetration was twice as long and rarely interrupted in aphids on bird cherry as opposed to aphids on black cherry. On black cherry, there was a considerable delay between finding and accepting the phloem. Aphids that had sampled phloem sap either refused to ingest it or the ingestion periods were very short. Amygdalin and prunasin (cyanogenic glycosides present in leaves of Prunus) seriously impeded ingestion activities when applied in pure sucrose diet. The role of amygdalin and prunasin in winter host plant selection and host alternation in R. padi is discussed.

Handling Editor: Yvan Rahbe.