Walnut dusky-veined aphid Panaphis juglandis (Goeze) and walnut green aphid Chromaphis juglandicola (Kaltenbach) cause economic losses and co-occur on walnut trees, but they have separate niche. Panaphis juglandis feeds on the upper (adaxial) surface of leaves while C. juglandicola feeds on the lower (abaxial) surface. Field surveys and controlled experiments in the field and laboratory were conducted to determine microhabitat selection by P. juglandis and C. juglandicola and the factors associated with this behavior. In the field, the two aphid species colonized a leaflet as follows: P. juglandis only, 16.5%; C. juglandicola only, 44.5%; and both species on same leaflet, 39%. C. juglandicola settled on the abaxial surface earlier than P. juglandis settled on the adaxial surface. P. juglandis showed the highest reproduction rate when they were in the erect position on the adaxial surface. C. juglandicola exhibited the highest reproduction rate when they were inverted and on the abaxial surface. Under a light intensity of 50,000 lux, 60.5% of C. juglandicola remained on the illuminated surface, while P. juglandis did not move from the illuminated surface. Through field and laboratory experiments, we found that P. juglandis preferred to settle on the adaxial surface and C. juglandicola preferred to settle on the abaxial surface. Leaf surface, gravity, and light were three physical factors affecting microhabitat selection by the two aphid species but light intensity was the key factor. This information will help to better understand the habitats of two aphid species, which may be helpful for walnut aphids management strategies such as the usage of insecticides option and spraying.
Vol. 51 • No. 6
Vol. 51 • No. 6