Sugar Root Aphid – Pempighus populivenae

Sugar Root Aphid (Pempighus populivenae)

Latin Name: (Pempighus populivenae)

Common Name: Sugar beet root aphid


  • The heads and thorax of winged aphids are black, while the rest of their bodies are green. Rather than the primary store root, the aphid is connected with fibrous roots.
  • The wingless forms on roots are yellowish and produce a soft, white waxy material that makes the source look mealy.

Hosts plants:

  • Populus L. poplars are the ideal primary hosts, with annual or biennial plants such as sugar beets and certain weed species serving as secondary hosts.
  • Secondary hosts contain sugar beetroots, pigweed, foxtail, dock, and a few other plants, on which the aphids will feed and breed throughout the bulk of the growing season.


Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L. var. Vulgaris) is grown in North America’s major sugar beet production regions.

Damage insect caused by sapsuckers:

Sapsuckers create sap wells in the phloem and xylem by excavating small holes in the trunks and branches of woody plants. Each sapwell has a diameter of around 0.25 inches (4-6 mm). Sapsucker damage is seen as horizontal rows of sap wells. Sapsuckers and other birds may feast on insects attracted by the sap. Fungi that develop on the sugary liquid typically discolor the bark beneath sap wells. Sap flow may slow or halt if the woodpecker leaves the sap wells unattended for a few days. Normally, a few scattered rows of sap wells will not cause substantial harm. On the other hand, trees that are constantly and forcefully assaulted may be injured, resulting in diminished growth, an increased probability of tree failure, or death.

Life History and Habits:

Sugar beet root aphids have a complex life cycle that may include the seasonal use of different host species and separate phases of sexual and asexual reproduction. The life cycle of sugarbeet root aphids is intricate, with an overwintering generation on narrow leaf cottonwood trees. All aphid reproduction is done asexually by females the remainder of the year. The overwintering eggs hatch in the spring, and the aphids seek growing cottonwood leaves to feed on. A gall shapes at the base of the leaf when an aphid needs to feed on the expanding leaves early on. The female aphid develops a colony of winged aphids within this gall.