The presence of large colonies of aphids is associated with a devastating novel necrotic disease of cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) in Ghana that is thought to be of viral etiology. In this study, we used molecular taxonomic tools to identify the aphid species present on these diseased cabbage plants. This was confirmed using two key features for morphological identification, involving the length of cornicles and shape of cauda for the wingless forms of the aphids. Two species of aphids were identified and their distribution in Ghana indicated. One was the generalist aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) but the most abundant was the brassica specialist aphid, Lipaphis erysimi pseudobrassicae (Davis) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), which is one of the most destructive pests of brassica crops in some countries in Africa and other parts of the world. L. erysimi has been reported in Benin, Mali, South Africa, India, China, and United States, but this is the first formal report of L. erysimi pseudobrassicae in Ghana. The correct identification of L. erysimi is crucial, suggesting that it has recently become one of the most common species of aphid found on cabbage plants in Ghana.
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Vol. 113 • No. 3