The root aphid Tetraneura nigriabdominalis (Sasaki) (Homoptera: Pemphigidae) is a pest of many Gramineae species; however, little is known about its biology and relationships with host plants. The objectives of this study were to quantify the effects of temperature on development, longevity, fecundity, and population growth of T. nigriabdominalis and to assess the effects of host plant on development of T. nigriabdominalis. The effects of temperature on performance of this root aphid were determined at 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 ± 1°C on rice roots, Oryza sativa L. Nymphal stages from birth to adult decreased from 46.3 d at 10°C to 8.5 d at 30°C. Aphid survival and development were lowest at 35°C, and no aphid produced progeny at this temperature. Average adult longevity decreased from 23.3 d at 15°C to 8.2 d at temperatures up to 35°C. Average number of nymphs produced per female was highest at 25°C; averaging near 30 nymphs per female, but it dropped to near zero at both 10 and 35°C. The highest intrinsic rate of increase (rm) was 0.241 at 30°C. Net reproductive rate (R0) ranged from 29.8 at 25°C to 0.2 at 10°C. The generation time (GT) decreased with increasing temperatures from 60.3 d at 10°C to 13.8 d at 30°C. In addition, root aphids reared at 30°C on three host plants [O. sativa, Zea mays L. and Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] revealed that the developmental time of the nymphal stages averaged 6.9 d when reared on O. sativa and 10.7 d when reared on Z. mays. Comparison of the nitrogen content of the three host plants indicated that the root nitrogen content was highest in O. sativa. The effect of nitrogen content on aphid performance, however, is still not clear. Other factors, such as plant secondary chemistry, may play a role in affecting aphid performance.
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Vol. 99 • No. 4