an insect of the family Aphididae of the order Homoptera; a pest of cotton. The most harmful species is Aphis gossypii. The aphids are wingless females (males are absent) with a yellow or green ovate body measuring 1.25–2.1 mm long. The cornicles are black. After overwintering, the insects feed on weeds. At a temperature of about 12°C, 20 to 60 larvae are produced. The larvae metamorphose into adult individuals in ten to 15 days. Winged females appear in early summer, settling on fields of cotton, castor-oil plants, melons, and other crops. The insects suck the sap out of leaves, causing the leaves to curl and dry out. Plant growth is retarded, and fruit production is curtailed owing to carbohydrate starvation. In autumn the aphids contaminate the fiber, promoting the development of saprophytic fungi. Cotton is also damaged by the aphids Aphis laburni and Acyrthosiphon gossypii.
The insects are distributed in cotton-growing areas; in the USSR they are found mainly in Middle Asia and Kazakhstan. Control measures include destruction of weeds, gathering of plant remains, and treatment of cotton plants with insecticides.