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This most dangerous of all vine pests (bot. Dactylosphaera vitifolii) is an insect of the order plant lice (Homoptera), suborder aphids (Aphidina) and family of dwarf aphids (Phylloxeridae). Phylloxera vitifolii attacks only the vine, sucking on the leaves and/or the roots, releasing its saliva into the sap webs, causing bile (growths) which then serve as oviposition and food. Due to different patterns of behaviour towards the vine, different species are suspected. The German biologist Dr. Carl Börner (1880-1953) distinguished between a less dangerous long-trunked phylloxera and a more harmful short-trunked phylloxera. From the initial infestation, it usually takes a maximum of three years until the vine dies and is completely destroyed due to consequences such as nutrient deficiency and root rot. The French scientist Jules Émile Planchon (1823-1888) gave the phylloxera vastatrix (devastating louse) the apt name when it was identified in France in 1868.

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