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Phylloxera

This most dangerous of all vine pests (bot. Dactylosphaera vitifolii) is an insect of the order Plant Aphids (Homoptera), suborder Aphidina and family Phylloxeridae. The phylloxera exclusively attacks the grapevine, sucking on the leaves and/or roots and releasing its saliva into the sap pathways, causing galls (growths) that then serve as oviposition and food. Different species are suspected based on different behavioral patterns toward the vine. The German biologist Dr. Carl Börner (1880-1953) distinguished between a less dangerous long-nosed phylloxera and a more harmful short-nosed phylloxera. From the initial infestation, it usually takes a maximum of three years for the vine to die and be completely destroyed due to secondary effects such as nutrient deficiency and root rot. The French scientist Jules Émile Planchon (1823-1888) aptly named the phylloxera vastatrix (devastating louse) when he identified it in France in 1868.

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