Black Bean Aphid - Aphis fabae

Alternative names
Black Fly

The black bean aphid is more commonly known as 'Black fly'. Adult aphids are up to 2mm long and elliptical in shape. They are black in colour, although they can also appear dark green or purple.

Identification difficulty

Colonies can usually be found on the undersides of leaves as well as on soft new shoot tips or buds. Black bean aphids cluster together and are noticeable because of their dark colouring.

When to see it

Spring and summer.

Life History

During the warmer months aphids give birth to as many as five live young a day, so large colonies can develop very quickly, they can affect a wide range of garden plants, trees shrubs and certain vegetables (mainly beans and peas). When the colonies become over-populated, they move to different locations by producing winged aphids. During the cooler months, aphids mate and produce eggs which overwinter.

UK Status

Widespread and common in Britain.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map