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Pest Information

Leaf Curl Plum Aphid

Leaf Curl Plum Aphid

  • Latin Name: Brachycaudus helichrysi
  • Common Name: Leaf Curl Plum Aphid
  • Latin Family Name: Aphididae
  • Other Names: Leaf curl aphid

Pest Details

Leaf Curl Plum Aphid
Leaf Curl Plum Aphid
Leaf Curl Plum Aphid


Unknown, but it is found widely around the world and throughout the United States.


Over-winters as the eggs on prune, plum, and other trees in the genus Prunus. With the new growth of leaves in the spring the eggs hatch and the nymphs immediately begin feeding on the tender foliage, causing a severe twisting, curling, and distortion of the leaf, which ultimately may fall from the tree. Later generations with winged females then migrate to many other kinds of plants nearby, particularly those in the Aster or Sunflower family. It is a serious pest of chrysanthemums in greenhouses.


Typically this aphid is yellowish to light green in the summer, with later generations dark green to brown. The tips of the legs are black in the un-winged forms, with very short antennae. The winged forms have the head and thorax dark brown and with a large, dark patch on the top of the abdomen.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

The infested tree can suffer stress from the feeding as well as the loss of leaves due to the distortion. The twisted leaves may enclose the aphids, making foliar applications of insecticides less effective. Since they are on trees that product fruit a systemic insecticide may not be allowed. Dormant oil applications to the branches and tips of the trees serving as over-winter hosts can help reduce spring populations.

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