|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Aphids - 2nd Post|
I have already posted this info on my first post, but will redo it here for those that may have missed it.
Aphids are small soft-bodied insects, (1/16-1/8 inch long). They are one of the most common pest groups of ornamental plants.
Aphids feed in colonies. They have plump, pear-shaped bodies and two tubes, or cornicles, which project like exhaust pipes from their abdomens. These cornicles apparently are the ducts of glands that produce alarm odours. Aphids may be winged or wingless and colonies often have both forms. They range in colour from green to brown, red, black or purple. Some species may even have different colour forms in the same colony. Most have the soft exoskeleton exposed, but some species produce waxy, cottony strands which cover the body. These are often called woolly aphids. These small insects are masters of reproduction and are often found in great numbers on stems or leaves. Some species even feed on the roots of plants.
There are many species of aphids, and they feed on all types of vegetation. The white pine aphid feeds on the bark of twigs and branches of Eastern white pine. Heavy aphid infestations can seriously weaken small trees.
Aphid colonies may be found on young leaves, new succulent shoots, and twigs or branches. Many vegetables and fruit trees, as well as ornamental plants, are attacked. This species is the green apple aphid.
Aphid feeding often causes leaves to curl and become deformed. Once this happens, control is very difficult because aphids inside the curled leaves are protected from contact with the insecticide. Some aphids are important vectors of plant diseases.
Aphids excrete a sugary waste produce called honeydew. Ants, bees, and wasps collect honeydew for food. Black and brown fungi, appropriately called sooty molds, cover leaves and other objects below aphid colonies where honeydew collects. Sooty mold problems can be prevented by controlling the resident aphids. A variety of insecticides are registered for aphid control.
Some aphids produce a protective coat of white waxy filaments. Woolly alder aphids feed and reproduce on silver maple in spring and early summer, then produce winged forms which migrate to alder to start new colonies. While not particularly injurious to either of its hosts, this aphid can become a nuisance because its white, woolly threads accumulate under heavily infested trees.
Taken in my front garden recently - handheld shot standing in the flower bed and twisting to get to the bud. This is the shot I mentioned in the first post - the bud itself with the aphids all over it.
Cropped, then resized to 600x800 format, applied +5 contrast and -3 brightness, then ran through the high pass filter at 20%, framed and posted.
Comments most welcome. Thanks. Tim
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