Amphorophora agathonica (Hottes) is the primary vector of aphid-transmitted viruses in red raspberry in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. To better understand the biology of the aphid, we estimated the lower developmental threshold and studied the seasonal activity of A. agathonica in commercial fields in northern Washington state. In addition, we monitored the spread of raspberry viruses (raspberry latent virus and raspberry leaf mottle virus, RLMV) to determine how rapidly fields became infected and whether there was a relationship between aphid presence and infection. The lower developmental threshold of A. agathonica was estimated to be 2.7°C. In the field, apterous and alate aphid populations began rapidly increasing at ≈800 growing degree-days and peaked at 1,050 growing degree-days. RLMV spread rapidly, with 30–60% of plants in four different commercial fields testing positive after three growing seasons. There was no discernible relationship between the presence or abundance of aphids based on 10 leaves sampled per plant location, and the odds of that plant becoming infected with RLMV.
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Vol. 43 • No. 2