Aphids (Likely Uroleucon sp.)

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Aphids (Likely Uroleucon sp.)

Too many people worry about aphids on their ornamental plants in the garden. My theory is that this comes, in part, because aphids on a houseplant can lead to the demise of the plant because there are no aphid predators flying around the inside of your house to control the problem. This is not the case of the outside, natural world of your garden.

Aphids are much like butterflies in that they flock to particular host plants. I identified mine by using the aphid host database and looking up Solidago fistulosa: http://www.aphidsonworldsplants.info/C_HOSTS_Seq_Sop.htm#Solidago

They are an important food source for many arthropods who will find them in good time. This photo reflects the initial find of the aphids. Less than a week later I have scads of ladybug and lacewing larva clearing the stems and few aphids are left. The plant is fine. A balanced garden maintains itself. Had I washed them off or squished them there would be less predators to handle other potential pests.

Family Aphididae – Aphids
Subfamily Aphidinae
Tribe Macrosiphini
Genus Uroleucon
Subgenus Lambersius

You can see an outstanding photo of a winged adult here: http://bugguide.net/node/view/451333/bgimage

Larval host: goldenrod

Shown on Florida Native Plant: PINEBARREN GOLDENROD (Solidago fistulosa)

My take:
Aphids are Good? Wait.WHAT???
http://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/aphids-are-good-wait-what/

Aphids molt several times and leave their exoskelton (skin) behind:

aphidExoskeletonGoldenrodAug2016

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2 comments
  1. Sandra S Mickelson said:

    I love this explanation!

    • Loret said:

      Thanks Sandy. Years ago when I watched some beeflies zeroing in on a plant and realized that aphids were the attraction I had an ephipany that aphids not only have a role in the circle of life, but a VITAL role in the circle of life. With age comes wisdom LOL

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