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Facts about Aphids

Aphids

Aphids are known for having unusual reproductive adaptations.

Aphids

About 4,000 species of aphids are known, classified in about 10 families.

Aphids

The aphids sometimes induce the formation of galls, proliferations and modifications of plant tissues that protect the aphids.

Aphids

Aphids have not always looked like they do currently.

Aphids

Some species of cabbage aphids (like Brevicoryne brassicae) reproduce rapidly during the summer.

Aphids

Ants protect the aphids from weather conditions and enemies and transport them to plants for feeding; in turn, the ants obtain honeydew from the aphids.

Aphids

Many aphids are host to endosymbiont bacteria, Buchnera, which live in specialized cells called bacteriocytes inside the aphid.

Aphids

Some species of ants "farm" aphids, protecting them on the plant they eat, and eating the honeydew that the aphids secrete.

Aphids

Aphids are distributed worldwide, but they are most common in temperate zones.

Aphids

Aphids comprise the Aphidoidea superfamily, with typical aphids in the Aphididae family.

Aphids

Some aphid infestations cause leaf curl, whereby the feeding of a colony of aphids on the underside of a lead can cause a downward curl.

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Aphids

Aphids probably first appeared around 280 million years ago, in the Carboniferous period.

Aphids

Some species of ants have a mutually beneficial relationship (mutualism) with aphids in order to "milk" the aphids for honeydew, a sweet substance secreted by the aphids and prized as food by the ants.

Aphids

Aphidoidea is classified within Hemiptera, an order of insects, comprising around 80,000 species of cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, shield bugs, and others, collectively known as the "true bugs."

Aphids

Some larvae of the Hymenoptera order (ants, bees, and wasps) can appear like the caterpillars of the lepidoptera.

Aphids

Aphids tend to have soft bodies with long, thin legs, two-jointed, two-clawed tarsi, and usually a pair of cornicles—abdominal tubes through which a waxy secretion is exuded.

Aphids

Consisting of incompletely digested but concentrated plant sap, aphid honeydew is rich in carbohydrates, a product of the aphids ingesting an excess of the sap.

Aphids

Some aphids also provide habitat for endosymbiotic bacteria that synthesize some essential amino acids absent from the aphids' diet.

image: www.bugs.com
Aphids

An underlying harmony in nature is seen in some of the symbiotic relationships in which aphids are involved.

Aphids

Important natural enemies of aphids include the predatory ladybirds/ladybugs/ladybeetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), hoverfly larvae (Diptera: Syrphidae), and lacewings (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae), and entomopathogenic fungi like Lecanicillium lecanii and the Entomophthorales.

image: www.ndsu.edu
Aphids

Similarly to related families, aphids passively feed on sap from phloem vessels in plants.

Aphids

Aphids typically live from 20-40 days and thus undergo multiple parthenogenetic, viviparous generations each summer.

Aphids

Aphids have two compound eyes and two ocular tubercles made up of three lenses, each of which is located behind and above the compound eyes.

Aphids

Aphids used chemicals to induce the formation of galls, proliferations, and modifications of plant tissues.

Aphids

When host plant quality becomes poor or is crowded, female aphids will produce winged offspring that can disperse to other food sources.

Aphids

Aphids have been known to have what is called telescoping generations.

Aphids

The aphids will overwinter as eggs and hatch out as females in the following spring.

Aphids

Many, but far from all, aphids are monophagous (i.e.

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