Aphids have a complex life cycle, with both winged and wingless forms of adults and a great variety in colour. In greenhouses, reproduction takes place by parthenogenesis, with unfertilized viviparous females continuing to produce new generations of females. Aphids moult four times before reaching adulthood. With each moult they shed white skin, betraying their presence in the crop.
The yellow rose aphid is holocyclic in North America (i.e. they mate in autumn and produce eggs to overwinter). It is also holocyclic in parts of Europe, whereas throughout most of the world it is anholocyclic (i.e. only multiplying parthenogenetically with viviparous females continuously producing new generation of females) and generally found only on cultivated roses and strawberries, in glasshouses in northern Europe or outdoors in warmer climates.
Wingless yellow rose aphids have a brownish head; the body is bright yellow to yellow-green or green and rather shiny. Winged aphids have a bright green abdomen with black dorsal markings. The size of wingless adults is 1.2-2.5 mm, winged specimens are 1.4-2.2. mm