Aphid
( Aphididae )


2014-0411-SP175006-HOM02036-Aphididae[2214h02s,A,A,blacklight]{EXD}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Aphididae
(Latreille, 1802)
Common Name:Aphid
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Paraneoptera
Order:Hemiptera
Suborder:Sternorrhyncha
Family:Aphididae
Taxon Code:HOM02036
ITIS TSN#:109191

LOCATION DETAILS
Location
Morgan Fire Burn Area, Mount Diablo State Park, Clayton
County:Contra Costa County
ECI Site#:CASP175000
Park/Forest:Mount Diablo State Park

RECOGNITION
Aphids may be identified by two tubelike projections on the posterior, called cornicles or siphunculi. These appear to function as a means of chemical defense, emitting pheromones to alert other aphids about a predator nearby. They also offer mechanical protection, as the fluid emitted can gum up the mouthparts of the predators. Species may sometimes be identified by the host plant, but several aphid species may infest the same host. An attempt to organize aphid images by host plant is underway.

BIOLOGY
Food
Aphids suck juices from plants and may be quite damaging. Some are restricted to a single plant species or group of related plants. Others may alternate between two entirely unrelated host plants as a necessary part of their life cycle.
Development
Over-wintering eggs hatch in the spring into wingless females. These wingless females are parthenogenetic (reproduce without fertilization) and hold eggs in their bodies to give birth to living young. Their offspring are similar to the females, but some develop wings. Near autumn male and female wingless forms are born. These mate and the females lay fertilized overwintering eggs. Males can be winged or wingless; parthenogenetic females are usually wingless. In warm climates, living young may be produced continually.
Importance
Feeding aphids excrete a sugar-rich liquid known as honeydew, often consumed by ants who are known to tend aphid colonies and protect them from predators in exchange. Ants are herding aphids and milk them by stroking. Some ant species move aphids from one plant to another when the food supply is insufficient, or even take aphid eggs into their nests to help them overwinter. Predators of aphids include lacewing larvae, ladybird beetles and larvae, harvester butterfly caterpillars, and the syrphid fly larvae. Aphids are also attacked by parasitic wasps, which lay eggs inside them. Parasitized aphids swell, become lighter in color and are eventually killed by the developing wasp inside. These are referred to as aphid mummies.

HABITAT

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar

REFERENCES
  • Family Aphididae - Aphids. (http://bugguide.net/node/view/147). Accessed March 12, 2016. [ IMAGES ]
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System TSN#109191


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