Aphids (Aphis spp.) hatching from over wintering eggs are all wingless parthenogenetic females. Aphids go through a simple metamorphosis (no larvae or pupa stage) and appear to be viviparous, however the eggs hatch inside the female and are excreted into the world as nymphs. The succeeding summer generations are also parthenogenetic females but may have wings. The fall generation of winged females migrates back to the primary host plant and produce generation of male and female aphids. This generation produces by sexual reproduction over wintering eggs that are deposited on the bark of the host tree. There may be as many as 13 generations of aphids a year.

The Life-Cycle of the Aphid

What's for Dinner?
Fact or Infotainment?
Aphids have sucking (not chewing) mouthparts and suck the juices out of leaves and young soft shoots of plants. Aphids are a favorite food of ladybugs. Aphids are often kept as 'pets' by ants. The ants protect the aphids from other predators and in return the aphids give the ants a sweet nectar that they produce as a by-product of metabolism (code for pee) of the plant juices they eat.
Go To Next Page
Back To Bug Table
Return To Birds Bugs and Bushes Main Page