at a glance
Pentalonia nigronervosa Coquerel
Pentalonia nigronervosa, better known as the banana aphid, is the most common aphid associated with bananas. It is an economically important insect because of its role as vector of the Banana bunchy top virus that causes bunchy top in bananas. The link between the two was first made in 1922 and confirmed in 1927.
The banana aphid belongs to the genus Pentalonia which comprises four species: P. nigronervosa Coquerel (described in 1859 by the French entomologist Jean-Charles Coquerel using a specimen from the Indian Ocean island of Réunion), P. caladii van der Groot, P. gavarri Eastop and P. kalimpongensis. The last two species are poorly documented and not always cited as members of the genus.