Insect-deterring sorghum compounds may be eco-friendly pesticide

Compounds produced by sorghum plants to defend against insect feeding could be isolated, synthesized and used as a targeted, nontoxic insect deterrent, according to researchers who studied plant-insect interactions that included ...

Biological diversity stabilizes species interactions

The decline in biodiversity and the associated loss of plant species are greatly affecting ecosystems. Thus far, this has been shown by studies in the so-called grasslands, i.e. in areas that are not covered by buildings ...

Plant virus alters competition between aphid species

In the world of plant-feeding insects, who shows up first to the party determines the overall success of the gathering; yet viruses can disrupt these intricate relationships, according to researchers at Penn State.

Aphids manipulate their food

How do aphids reproduce on plants so successfully? This is among the questions that Professor Dr. Caroline Müller and her research team are addressing at Bielefeld University's Faculty of Biology. They have discovered that ...

Night-time lighting changes how species interact

Night-time lighting from streetlights and other sources has complex and unexpected effects on communities of plants and animals, new research shows.Previous studies have shown that artificial lighting affects a wide variety ...

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Aphid

Aphids, also known as plant lice and in Britain and the Commonwealth as greenflies, blackflies or whiteflies, (not to be confused with "jumping plant lice" or true whiteflies) are small sap sucking insects, and members of the superfamily Aphidoidea. Aphids are among the most destructive insect pests on cultivated plants in temperate regions. The damage they do to plants has made them enemies of farmers and gardeners the world over, but from a zoological standpoint they are a very successful group of organisms. Their success is in part due to the asexual reproduction capability of some species.

About 4,400 species of 10 families are known. Historically, many fewer families were recognised, as most species were included in the family Aphididae. Around 250 species are serious pests for agriculture and forestry as well as an annoyance for gardeners. They vary in length from 1 to 10 millimetres (0.04 to 0.39 in).

Natural enemies include predatory ladybirds, hoverfly larvae, parasitic wasps, aphid midge larvae, crab spiders, lacewings and entomopathogenic fungi like Lecanicillium lecanii and the Entomophthorales.

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