What Does an Aphid Look Like?

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Aphids are tiny, soft-bodied insects that are typically yellow, green or brown, with sucking mouth parts and cornicles. Identify aphids, which typically form colonies to eat plants, with information from an entomologist and insect specialist in this free video on aphids.

Part of the Video Series: Insect Information
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Video Transcript

My name's Mike Quinn, and I've been an Entomologist for twenty years, and we're here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center talking about what do aphids look like. Aphids are tiny, soft-bodied insects that form colonies, and typical colors are yellow, or green, or a brownish color. And they have piercing, sucking mouth parts that they put into the plant and suck the juices out, and they're fixed, essentially, to that point; anchored as it were. If you get close enough to them one of the things to look for are cornicles. They're somewhat analogous to tailpipes, and they'll release plant juices from the cornicles. And ants are often in attendance, and and protective of ants, so you see a variety of insects; both preying on the aphid, such as hover fly or syrphid larvae, or ladybug larvae there feeding on them, and then, you'll have at the same time ants protecting the aphid. So, aphids attract a lot of attention from other insects, as well as gardeners that would rather not have them, but, they're tiny insects that are generally wingless, although late in the season they do have a a winged stage where they disperse. And the female can actually give birth to live whole tiny aphids just almost like a a person there. And so those are some of the ways to recognize an aphid.

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