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Description, life history, and habits of Essigella californica (Monterey pine aphid)

Scion is the leading provider of forest-related knowledge in New Zealand
Formerly known as the Forest Research Institute, Scion has been a leader in research relating to forest health for over 50 years. The Rotorua-based Crown Research Institute continues to provide science that will protect all forests from damage caused by insect pests, pathogens and weeds. The information presented below arises from these research activities.

From Forest Health News 99, August 2000.

Essigella californica is light green with small black spots on the upper surface, rather slender, soft bodied, and up to 1.5 mm long. In appearance it is very similar to Eulachnus brevipilosus (Forest and Timber Insects in New Zealand 55, 1983), which is occasionally found on P. radiata . Very little is known about the biology of E. californica. In Australia, the life cycle is completed without sexual reproduction, that is, the population consist of only females. Whether this is also the case in New Zealand is unclear, as the aphid's biology has not been studied in detail. In New Zealand, both winged and wingless female adults may be present. There are several generations in a year, but how many, has not been determined. When feeding, aphids will aggregate in clumps around the needle sheaths, or space themselves along the length of the needle. If disturbed, they will move rapidly through the foliage before dropping.

(Clive Appleton, Forest Research, and Tim Herman, Crop & Food Research)

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(Scion is the trading name of the New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited.)


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