American grapevine aphid

Aphis illinoisensis


The American grapevine aphid is a new pest species in grapevine crops in southern Europe. It feeds on plant sap and can thus damage its host plants.


American vineaphids (Aphis illinoisensis) are only 2 to 2.5 mm in size, have a soft body, and are reddish-brownish to black in color. They ingest plant sap with their stylet-like proboscis. Grapevine aphids have two dorsal tubes (siphons) on their bodies. These serve to release a defensive secretion with wax cells when threatened, which smears the mouthparts of small attackers and thus protects the aphids.


The American vine aphid belongs to the tubular aphid family (Aphididae). The aphids overwinter as an egg on snowball(Viburnum prunifolium). In spring, they form colonies and reproduce over several generations by means of virgin reproduction (parthenogenesis), and then form a winged, sexually reproducing generation. This then flies onto the vine. In the fall, the winged females return to snowball and lay eggs for overwintering.

Damage symptoms

In viticulture, the American grapevine aphid is a significant pest in some areas. American grapevine aphids feed on the sap of the plant. When they occur in masses, significant damage to the host plant can result. By withdrawing plant sap from the leading tissue (phloem), the infested vine loses carbohydrates and nitrogen. In the long term, severely infested canes may show signs of emaciation and stunted growth. As a result, the grapes may drop off. The American grapevine aphid does not transmit viruses dangerous to grapevines.

Host plants

The primary host plant of the American grapevine aphid is Viburnus prunifolium (snowball). Secondary host plants are species of grapevine family (Vitaceae) including the genera Ampelocissus, Parthenocissus, Cissus and Vitis.


A. illinoisensis is widespread in the USA, Central and South America. Since 2003, the American grapevine aphid has also been found in Turkey. From there it has spread to Greece, Montenegro, and Albania. It is also now found in Israel, Tunisia, Algeria, Malta, Cyprus, Italy and Spain.

Propagation and transmission

In addition to the nonwinged forms of the American grapevine aphid, there are also winged forms that can fly comparatively far.

Prevention and control

Control of American grapevine aphids is advisable only in cases of heavy infestation. They have a number of natural enemies. These include ladybugs, velvet mites, lacewing larvae, predatory bugs, predatory mites and spiders.

As a plant sap sucker, the American grapevine aphid can be controlled relatively easily with systemic plant protection products (see list of plant protection products approved in Austria) .

Phytosanitary status

In the EU, the American grapevine aphid is not listed as a quarantine harmful organism (QSO).

Last updated: 07.09.2023

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