Date of this Version
Sipha flava (Forbes) (yellow sugarcane aphid) and Rhopalosiphum maidis (Fitch) (corn leaf aphid) (Hemiptera: Homoptera: Aphididae) are common aphids occurring throughout North America on many host plants, most of which are grasses (Blackman & Eastop 2006). Both aphids are pests of several important food crops, e.g., Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench (sorghum), Saccharum officinarum L. (sugarcane), Triticum spp. (wheat), and Zea mays L. (corn) (Blackman & Eastop 2000). Additionally, both aphids are vectors of potyviruses and R. maidis is a vector of luteoviruses in these crops. Until now, to our knowledge, no natural infestations of these aphids have been reported on the grass genus Miscanthus.
Miscanthus spp. is a common grass throughout the United States, with ornamental varieties of M. sinensis Andersson being the most frequently cultivated species. However, M. × giganteus Greef and Deuter ex Hodkinson and Renvoize (Liliopsida: Poaceae: Andropogonaeae: Saccharinae) is being evaluated in the United States as a cellulosic feedstock crop (Heaton et al. 2008) primarily to meet production targets for advanced biofuels (e.g., cellulosic ethanol; Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, 42 U.S.C. § 17001). Miscanthus × giganteus is a perennial, sterile hybrid (possibly between M. sinensis and M. sacchiflorus (Maxim.) Hack.) and may exist in nature within a sympatric zone of these 2 species in southeastern Asia (Clifton-Brown et al. 2008).