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Aphids are soft little insects. Some aphids are green but they can also be yellow, brown or black. There are many different types of aphids.


Aphids are sap suckers. They can usually be found near the soft growing tip of plants or under new leaves. They drink the sap that plants send to these parts of the growing plant. Aphids have a tube that they poke into a leaf or stem so that they can drink the sap.

LINKS

1.      All about aphids. A good page to read.

2.      Unwinged and winged aphids - a diagram.

3.     

Did you know?

1.  Aphids are to  ants what cows are to people.

2.  In cold climates, aphids will mate so that some eggs can survive the cold winter.

3.  In warm climates, stem-mothers shelter over winter and start a new colony in spring.

Some aphids have four wings and some have no wings at all. Winged aphids often fly off to start a new colony. Aphids have an amazing friendship with ants. Can you see the little tubes on the back of the aphid in the picture. The tubes are called cornicles. Sweet honeydew oozes from these tubes. Ants love the honeydew. It's one of their favourite foods.


There are some aphids on my roses. The aphids are on the ends of the branches. If I look closely, I can see ants climbing out to the aphids, collecting the honeydew and going back.  Sometimes the ants will protect the aphids by fighting off animals that would like to eat the aphids.


Another incredible fact about aphids is that they can breed so quickly without any male aphids. The female aphid, called a stem-mother, does not need a male. She jus starts having babies (nymphs) and they all usually all females as well. Soon the young become stem mothers as well. In a warm climate, male aphids have no part in the breeding.

cornicles

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