Aphids

Aphids aphids

Scientific name: many species
(Hemiptera: Aphididae)

Facts: Aphids are generally under 1/8 inch in length with only a few that are larger. Aphids are soft-bodied, with rounded or elongate bodies, long legs and long antennae. The distinguishing feature is a pair of extensions on the abdomen called cornicles. Adult aphids may be winged or wingless. Aphids can be almost any color including: green, reddish, yellow, or black. Some aphids produce a waxy secretion that covers their body making them appear woolly and white.

Aphids have a complex life cycle and sometimes produce live young without mating or egg laying. Other times they mate, lay eggs, and reproduce in a more typical manner.

Aphids suck plant juices and excrete a lot of liquid called “honeydew” which drops on whatever is below them. Honeydew is sticky and provides a substrate for black sooty mold to grow. Aphids are sometimes called “plant lice” and almost every kind of plant has some aphid species that feeds on it.

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