The nature of the interaction between the black pecan aphid, Melanocallis caryaefoliae (Davis) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), and the chlorosis it causes to foliage of its pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch) ] host is poorly understood. Laboratory experiments were conducted on the settling behavior of the black pecan aphid, when provided chlorotic pecan leaf discs resulting from previous black pecan aphid feeding and nonchlorotic leaf discs, under a normal photoperiod and constant dark. Additionally, aphid development from the first instar to the adult stage was examined when nymphs were either allowed to feed on the same leaf disc or moved daily to a new, nondamaged, same age leaf disc. After 24 h, a significantly higher percentage of black pecan aphids settled on chlorotic than on nonchlorotic leaf discs, regardless of photoperiod. When starting from the first instar, nymphs that were prevented from inducing leaf chlorosis by moving daily to new, same-age leaf discs took ∼5 d longer to complete development, had a shorter body length, and had higher mortality than when aphids remained on the same leaf disc. These results show that black pecan aphid-induced leaf chlorosis plays an important role in the interaction of the black pecan aphid with its pecan host.
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