Photo by Melody

Milkweed Aphid , Oleander Aphid (Aphis nerii)

Order: Homoptera (ho-MOP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Aphididae
Genus: Aphis (AY-fiss) (Info)
Species: nerii


No positives
1 neutral
1 negative


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Gold Canyon, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Deer, Arkansas
Citrus Heights, California
Hesperia, California
Jacumba, California
Long Beach, California (2 reports)
Los Angeles, California
Orange, California
Phelan, California
Fort Myers, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Melbourne Beach, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Thomasboro, Illinois
Winchester, Indiana
Des Moines, Iowa
Louisville, Kentucky
Denham Springs, Louisiana
Hammond, Louisiana
Jeanerette, Louisiana
Scott, Louisiana
Brooksville, Maine
Annapolis, Maryland
Glen Burnie, Maryland
Oakland, Maryland
Pepperell, Massachusetts
Royal Oak, Michigan
Saint Clair Shores, Michigan
Flowood, Mississippi
Maben, Mississippi
Lincoln, Nebraska (2 reports)
New Milford, New Jersey
Whitehouse Station, New Jersey
Elephant Butte, New Mexico
Mahopac, New York
Winterville, North Carolina
Bowling Green, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Whitehall, Pennsylvania
Columbia, South Carolina
Abilene, Texas
Allen, Texas
Austin, Texas
Frisco, Texas
Houston, Texas
Lufkin, Texas
Marble Falls, Texas
Rockwall, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring, Texas
Tomball, Texas
Germantown, Wisconsin

By PanamonCreel
Thumbnail #1 of Milkweed Aphid , Oleander Aphid (Aphis nerii) by PanamonCreel

By PanamonCreel

Thumbnail #2 of Milkweed Aphid , Oleander Aphid (Aphis nerii) by PanamonCreel

By Magpye

Thumbnail #3 of Milkweed Aphid , Oleander Aphid (Aphis nerii) by Magpye

By hczone6

Thumbnail #4 of Milkweed Aphid , Oleander Aphid (Aphis nerii) by hczone6

By hczone6

Thumbnail #5 of Milkweed Aphid , Oleander Aphid (Aphis nerii) by hczone6

By Sofonisba

Thumbnail #6 of Milkweed Aphid , Oleander Aphid (Aphis nerii) by Sofonisba

By LadyAshleyR

Thumbnail #7 of Milkweed Aphid , Oleander Aphid (Aphis nerii) by LadyAshleyR

There are a total of 10 photos.
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Member Notes:

Neutral Magpye On Oct 17, 2006, Magpye from NW Qtr, AR
(Zone 6a) wrote:

The oleander aphid (Aphis nerii) is a distinct bright yellow aphid with black legs, antennae, cauda (tail-like appendage), and cornicles (tubes that extend from the abdomen). It is thought to originate in the Mediterranean and probably spread as oleanders were introduced around the world. The aphid is now found in tropical and temperate zones worldwide.

When the oleander aphid finds its preferred hosts, plants in the Asclepiadaceae and Apocynaceae, the population explodes. All of the aphids are females; they reproduce by parthenogenesis (clones of the mother) and they bear live young (nymphs). If conditions become too crowded on a plant or the plant declines in health, some of the aphids develop wings and will colonize new plants.

The aphids' bright coloring is a warning to predators. The aphids sequester the cardenolides (cardiac glycosides) produced by the milkweeds and dogbanes. When a predator disturbs the aphids, they exude the cardenolides in a waxy compound through the cornicles. Predators usually back away and clean the defensive compound from their mouthparts.

The amount of cardenolides present in milkweeds and dogbanes varies with the species, the age of the plant, and the season. Aphids that feed on plants with low amounts of the glycosides are more likely to fall prey to generalist predators like spiders, ladybug larvae, and aphid lions (lacewing larvae).

Generalist predators that survive eating the oleander aphids .. suffer the effects of the cardenolides. Fewer aphid lions survive to become lacewings and reproduce. Ladybugs develop deformed wings. And spiders weave strange disrupted webs.

Negative firsttwelve On Aug 8, 2011, firsttwelve from Bowling Green, OH wrote:

Great comment by Magpye!
These aphids have decimated our milkweed plants this year, and along with the milkweeds, the Monarchs are suffering, for sure. Due to heavy and prolonged moisture in the spring, the aphid populations have exploded. We blast with water, squish and squash these tiny guys daily, hoping to save some of our Monarch food. Hoping for fewer aphids next year!

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