Latin name: Aphidoidea
size: 1 - 10mm
Older: about 2 - 6 weeks
Appearance: light green to dark red
Sexual dimorphism: No
food: Plant juice
habitat: Flowerbed, forests, meadows
natural enemies: Gallmuck, ladybug, hoverfly
sexual maturity: ?
mating season: possible all year round
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the aphid
- The aphid has existed for almost 300 million years and is one of the world's most famous plant pests.
- In the course of their development, the aphid takes on several forms of appearance, which is why the animals of several generations, living within a colony, biologically strongly differ from each other.
- The aphid is found on all continents of the world and includes several thousand species worldwide. In Europe about eight hundred species of these insects are native.
- Aphids multiply epidemic-like and attack in large numbers almost all ornamental and useful plants.
- The reproduction takes place depending on the season sexually or asexually. Through live births in the context of asexual reproduction, a high population can be built up within a very short time. A female gives birth to up to five juveniles per day, which are genetically identical to the mother.
- The explosively enlarged aphid colonies colonize the undersides of the leaves and the buds and shoots of the plants and get through their highly specialized Stechrüssel to the conduction paths, from which they suck the sugary sap. An attack by aphids is usually clearly recognizable by the fact that the leaves of the host plants curl up or curl and the young shoots and buds are completely stunted.
- As a major plant pest in agriculture and in the garden, the aphid transmits numerous types of viral diseases that lead to high crop losses.
- In the case of food shortages, juveniles can form wings to facilitate their relocation to other plants.
- In the course of metabolism, the aphid produces a highly sugary excrement, which is referred to as honeydew and numerous insects such as ants serves as an important food source. In the course of a symbiosis, the ants cultivate the aphid colonies, defend them against enemies and thereby contribute to their rapid spread.
- The most important natural enemy of the aphid is the ladybird, but also the pochard fly and fly, the gallmidge, some bird species and larvae of spiders and other insects are among their predators.