Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 1 of 1
 [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Aphid, Rose
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:01 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Awards: Birder of the Year (2014) & Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Posts: 2413
Location: Bashing Balule
Award: Birder of the Year (2014)
Its been raining, confining me to my garden at best... So, yesterday I got figgetty and went looking for photographic (Macro) subjects in my garden. To my disappointment I found the aphids back after a hefty dose of aphicide some weeks back!

I cut off a rose to take indoors to my 'studio'.

Image

Hmmmm... Interesting size differences... I had to research aphids a bit, not knowing much about them. That is when I realized that they are really cool bugs.

In this 4x macro, one can see the miniature aphids only lack fully developed cornicles and antenae.

Common rose Aphids (Macrosyphon rosae), are infamous plant pests named after their host plant. Yes, they are those little green specks you see on your roses, usually wingless and 1 to 3mm long. Their soft bodies can be dark-green or pink-brown. In small numbers they do little harm, but they can occur in large masses on shoot tips and suck sap from the vulnerable young growth. This deprives the developing shoot of water and nutrients, so buds fail to open and foliage is distorted.

A cool aphid fact is their reproduction. They alternate between sexual and asexual reproduction. This means that if there is one aphid left on that rose plant of yours, she can clonally reproduce until they take over the plant again. They also have telescoping generations. Now, pay attention here because this is really cool! An adult aphid already has her clone growing in the womb and that clone has another clone in its womb and that one a clone in its womb and so on. They can do this up to 5 generations. This gives the young a head start when they are born because they have been growing and development in the safety of the womb.

Generations typically live 20 to 40 days.

The following information may be a lot more than you probably want to know about aphids, but I was fascinated!

The aphid is fragile and harmless to anything besides plants. The aphid can hardly do anything to ward off a hungry ant. However, the aphid can prevent predation by the ant by proffering up a sugary drop of excretion called “honeydew” from their anus. The ant will then eat this honeydew instead of the aphid. They use horn-like extensions from their bodies (cornicles) to produce defensive fluids such as waxes.

Insects that attack aphids include ladybirds, hoverfly larvae, parasitic wasps, aphid midge larvae, "aphid lions" (the larvae of green lacewings), crab spiders and lacewings.

Aphids release alarm pheromones to “summon” their ant protectors when attacked.

One might call the protection aphids receive when in the presence of these aggressive ants a symbiotic “mutualism”. When ants are not present, ladybird beetles mow aphids down like tanks, chomping them up like snacks and leaving nothing but scattered bits and pieces in their wake.

Ants “farm” with the aphids. By stroking the back of aphids with their antennae, the ants can induce a honeydew droplet.
  
The ants may move the insects to areas on the plants with the best sap.

When it rains they may move them to sheltered places, even sometimes into their own nests.

 Although this process seems very pleasant for both parties, recent studies show that ants sometimes clip the wings off aphids to stop them flying away. They also use chemicals to drug them, preventing their wings from developing. When a “herd” stops producing honeydew, the ants will eat the aphids. It appears that the ants are very much in charge. 

Aphids are the in the order Hemiptera along with cicadas, leafhoppers, kissing bugs, water striders, bedbugs and many more creepy crawlies.  The common name of the group is “true bugs,” so when you call an insect a bug, you are actually referring to members of this order.  They do not undergo metamorphosis, like beetles or bees, so the young are just mini-versions of the adults.  They are classified into this order by the sucking mouth parts.  In aphids, they use their mouthparts to tap into the plant phloem and feed.  Other members of the group use their sucking mouthparts to tap into veins and feed, like the bedbugs and kissing bugs.

_________________
668 Latest lifers: Pacific Golden Plover, Slaty Egret


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aphid, Rose
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:07 am 
Online
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 4:30 pm
Posts: 2817
Location: Helderberg
Very interesting information about aphids, but I still prefer to see ladybirds on my roses than aphids :roll:

Nice pic Johan :thumbs_up:

_________________
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aphid, Rose
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:17 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:17 pm
Posts: 3292
Location: Durban
That is so interesting and puts them in a new light. However I still would prefer not to have them on my roses.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to remove them without using pesticides as I prefer not to use poisonous chemicals in my garden.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aphid, Rose
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:49 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Awards: Birder of the Year (2014) & Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Posts: 2413
Location: Bashing Balule
Award: Birder of the Year (2014)
2x2 aphicide home remedy: Try 2 finely chopped up lemon peels and two finely chopped cloves of garlic in two litre of boiling water left to infuse overnight. Strain. Add two T dishwashing liquid and two T vinegar. Wet the aphids with this mixture via a gentle spray.

Aphids' powers of regeneration are phenominal, especially if you have a neighbour who does not worry too much about them. This means an ongoing battle with this little pest; tackle them at least once per month during the months when your roses are pushing new growth.

_________________
668 Latest lifers: Pacific Golden Plover, Slaty Egret


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Aphid, Rose
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:50 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:17 pm
Posts: 3292
Location: Durban
Thanks Johan, I shall make a batch today and try it out.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Lorinda at 17:36:15 Submitted by Stampajane at 04:57:15 Submitted by Lorinda at 20:21:36 Submitted by Stampajane at 04:52:43