Ants or plants? Evolutionary diversification factors of aphids

Plant-feeding insect aphids are thought to have diversified by shifting their host plants to other closely related plant species. However, the aphid Stomaphis established not only association with host plants but also mutualistic ...

Aerial insect trap network describes life in the skies

Like most invasive species, when the soybean aphid arrived in the Midwest in 2000, it brought none of its natural enemies along for the ride. So, naturally, finding itself in the soybean capital of the world, the tiny insect ...

Virus genes help determine if pea aphids get their wings

Many of an organism's traits are influenced by cues from the organism's environment. These features are known as phenotypically plastic traits and are important in allowing an organism to cope with unpredictable environments.

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 ...

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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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