The soybean aphid, Aphis glycines, a native of China, was discovered for the first time in Indiana in the fall of 2000. Surveys conducted by Purdue University have demonstrated that the aphid can be found throughout the state. The aphid feeds on soybeans and can significantly reduce crop yield.
The aphid also requires buckthorn (Rhamnus) as a host species in the fall. On buckthorn the aphid will mate and lay its eggs. In the spring, the eggs hatch and the aphid returns to the soybeans.
Since 2005, soybean aphids have had greatly reduced swings in populations from year to year. This is in part due to an increase in natural enemies including ladybird beetles, parasitoids, and fungal pathogens. There are also indications of soybean aphids becoming resistant to pesticides. Careful management of pesticide applications is strongly recommended to protect natural enemies and reduce the potential of insecticide resistance.