Grape phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae (Fitch 1855); family
These almost microscopic, pale yellow sap-sucking
American vine species (such as
Currently there is no cure for phylloxera and unlike other
The phylloxera aphid has a complex life-cycle of up to 18 stages, that can be divided into four principal forms: sexual form, leaf form, root form, and winged form.
The sexual form begins with male and female eggs laid on the underside of young grape leaves. The male and female at this stage lack a digestive system, and once hatched, they mate and then die. Before the female dies, she lays one winter egg in the bark of the vine's trunk. This egg develops into the leaf form. This nymph, the fundatrix (stem mother), climbs onto a leaf and lays eggs
Many attempts have been made to interrupt this life cycle to eradicate phylloxera, but the aphid has proven to be extremely adaptable, as no one stage of the life cycle is solely dependent upon another for the propagation of the species.