Pest Profile

Bird cherry-oat aphid
Rhopalosiphum padi
  • Bird cherry oat aphid: Black, or dark colored
  • Bird cherry oat aphid: Typically, these aphids have orange/red/brown patches around their cornicles (aka tailpipes)
  • Bird cherry oat aphid giving live birth to offspring

Pest Description

This aphid is a pear-shaped olive-green (either light or dark to almost black) with a red-orange spots on the abdomen. The tips of antennae, legs, and cornicles are black. Recent study suggests that this aphid is economically important because it appears to transmit Barley Yellow Dwarf virus to winter wheat. These aphids may be seen feeding on plants in fall, if the virus is transmitted during the seedling stage, damage to plants will be more severe in spring.

Heavy infestations of bird-cherry-oat-aphid during the spring can cause distortion of the flag-leaf, which rolls and twists into a cork-screw shape. These plants are often sticky, covered in an excrement from the aphids called 'honeydew'.

Source of information

Jack Kelly Clark (UC Statewide IPM Project), modified from, Angus Catchot (Mississippi Crop Situation)

Pest Diagnostics


Pest photo source

Phil Sloderbeck and Wendy Johnson, KSU Entomology

Plant Diagnostics


Plant diagnostic image(s) source

Angus Catchot (Mississippi Crop Situation)