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This aphid overwinters as an egg on apple and related trees and moves to grass and grain hosts for the spring and summer. Overwintering eggs are shiny black and hard to distinguish from the eggs of green aphids and rosy apple aphids, but usually hatch around silver tip or about 7 to 10 days earlier than the others. Nymphs are dark green with a light-colored stripe running down the back. This stripe darkens as the aphid gets older.
Apple grain aphids are distinguished from other species by antennae much less than half the body length and very short cornicles. In the fall, aphids return to apple trees, produce sexual forms, mate, and lay eggs.
Monitoring and management of this species in most orchards is unnecessary since it rarely causes a problem.