Potato Aphid

The Potato aphid Macrosiphum euphorbiae is often the most numerous of the five or six species of aphids that regularly colonize potato crops in Scotland. It is also a potential aphid vector of non-persistent potato viruses (e.g. PVY, PVA).

As with Peach-Potato aphids Myzus persicae, early season predictions made following the 2018-2019 winter indicated that Potato aphid flights should be earlier than in an average year.  Therefore, total catches of Potato aphids may be relatively high and consequently the risk of virus transmission within potato crops colonised by Potato aphids have the potential to be higher than average. However, environmental conditions over the early summer do influence population development, and growers should monitor how the populations of this species develop over the season.


 M. euphorbiae Dundee Edinburgh
First catch 2019 1 May 24 April
First catch prediction 2019 (75% confidence limits) 2 May - 20 June 20 April - 3 June
Mean date of first catch 1 June 24 May
Catch to 18 August 2019 21 24
Predicted catch to 31 July 2019 N/A N/A
Mean catch to 31 July 73 57


Potato aphids in 2019

A total of 45 potato aphids were caught up to 18 August, ranking 29th out of the last 32 years. The first individual of this species was caught at Edinburgh on 24 April, one month earlier than average.