Diagnosing aphids in narrow-leafed lupins

Main species affecting lupins are cowpea aphid (Aphis craccivora), bluegreen aphid (Acyrthosiphon kondoi) and green peach aphid (Myzus persicae). Two other minor species sporadically recorded on lupin are the leafcurl plum aphid (Brachycaudus helychrisi) and potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae). High numbers of aphids in lupin crops can cause stunted growth and affect flowering and pod set. Aphids also transmit two important diseases in lupins: cucumber mosaic virus and bean yellow mosaic virus. Refer to see also section for more information on viruses.

Cowpea aphid causing feeding damage to lupin
Bluegreen aphid on flowering bud of lupin
Green peach aphid can be bright green, yellow and pink in colour

What to look for


  • Wilted plants with aphid clusters on buds and flowers that result in flower abortion.

    Insect Adult

  • Adults and nymphs are found on the plants at the same time. Winged adults may be present.
    Correct identification of the aphids is critical. Green peach aphids are resistant to many insecticides, but tend to be found on the underside of leaves. Other aphid species usually found on buds and flowers.


  • Aphid infestations can be in hot spots or spread through out the paddock.

Where did it come from?

Alternate host
Alternate host
  • Aphids move into lupin crops from pasture, weeds.

Management strategies

Green bridge control
Green bridge control
Resistant varieties
Resistant varieties
Spraying insecticide
Spraying insecticide
  • Rainfall in late summer and early autumn encourages survival of aphid host plant material, leading to early aphid flights into crops soon after seeding.
  • Some narrow-leafed lupin varieties are quite resistant to aphid colony development.
  • Controlling aphids when 30% of flowering buds have 30 or more aphids will give a yield response.

Economic and financial considerations

Failure to control aphid feeding damage can result in yield losses (in the absence of virus infection) of up to 90% in susceptible varieties, and up to 30% in varieties with intermediate resistance. Controlling aphids when they are at threshold which is 30% of flowering buds with 30 or more aphids will give a yield response.

How can it be monitored?

  • After buds start to appear on the crop, check 15 plants at four different sections of the paddock. Look on the youngest inflorescences.
Page last updated: Monday, 1 May 2017 - 11:47am