The Black Bean Aphid (Aphis fabae) is a small insect in the Aphididae family of soft body aphids. It is also known as the Blackfly, the Bean Aphid, or the Beet Leaf Aphid.
The Black Bean Aphid has a soft, plump body with a small head and a bulbous abdomen. Its body is shiny black or dark-green. It has piercing and sucking mouthparts. Many adults do not have wings. This is called aptery. The winged ones, called alates, are longer and thinner. Near the rear of the abdomen is a pair of thin tubes called cornicles, which secrete waxy liquid. Its legs are pale yellow with black tips.
It grows to about 2 millimetres (less than a quarter of an inch) in length.
It is found in Europe and Asia in temperate zones. It is found in large numbers on the underside of leaves, including agricultural crops. It can carry viruses and plant diseases. It is known to be migratory.
For food, the adult sucks sap (liquid) from leaves.
The Black Bean Aphid breeds a lot. However, many insects and birds eat aphids. The female lays about 30 eggs, without mating (this means that she does not need a male to have eggs). She lays the eggs on a shrub or another winged female adult aphid. The adults die and the eggs hatch in spring. The young are called nymphs.
The average life span of the Black Bean Aphid is about 50 days.
Locaton of photographs: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM