Random Insect: Winged aphids

Winged aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) photographed 09/28/2012 near Clayton, Michigan.

Aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae) can often be seen in large groups feeding on plants. These tiny, soft-bodied insects spend most of their time crowded together, getting plump off of the juices of their particular hosts. Some species are serious crop pests, but their numbers are usually controlled by natural enemies like parasitoid wasps and lady beetles.

wingedaphid

Winged aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) photographed 06/21/2013 near Clayton, Michigan.

Many aphids have relatively complex life cycles, however, and may switch host plants once or twice a year. When that time comes, winged individuals are born that have the capability to migrate quickly. While the unwinged feeding machines are usually gregarious, the winged individuals fan out alone over a given area. Sometimes winged females give birth to unfertilized young (parthenogenesis) and other times they mate with winged males. Once the next unwinged generation has hatched on their new host plant they begin feeding and the cycle starts all over again.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Ecology, Entomology, Random Insect and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Random Insect: Winged aphids

  1. I get them on my butterfly weed …… Michelle

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