Plant-Insect Interaction: Aphids feeding on goldenrod

goldenrodaphids

Aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae: possibly Uroleucon sp.) feeding on a goldenrod (Solidago sp., Asteraceae). Photographed 06/28/2013 near Clayton, Michigan.

A few weeks ago I noticed these tiny red aphid nymphs (Hemiptera: Aphididae) feeding on a goldenrod (Solidago sp., Asteraceae). Scattered among them were a few larger adults. These insects use their piercing-sucking mouthparts to siphon sugary juices from their host plants.

goldenrodaphids2

Aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae: possibly Uroleucon sp.) feeding on a goldenrod (Solidago sp., Asteraceae). Photographed 06/28/2013 near Clayton, Michigan.

There are well over a thousand aphid species in the United States, so it can seem daunting to try identifying these tiny insects beyond the family level. Like many phytophagous (plant-eating) insects, however, aphids can be pretty particular about what they choose to eat. Based on this host specificity, I suspect these aphids are in the genus Uroleucon and may be U. nigrotuberculatum.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Organism Interactions and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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