SEM of a group of wingless aphids

SEM of a group of wingless aphids

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Credit: DAVID SCHARF/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: False colour scanning electron micrograph of a group of wingless aphids (family Aphidoidea), feeding on a plant stem. Commonly known as plant lice, they are specialised plant feeders, exploiting two different hosts during a season. Large populations of aphids develop rapidly & plants are quickly depleted of food, causing them to wilt & die. The proboscis of the aphid on the far right has penetrated the stem & is drinking the sugary plant juices. The head also contains the segmented antennae & lateral compound eyes. At the posterior end are two short tubes called cornicles, which secrete pheremones & waxes. Magnification x20 at 35mm, x40 at 6x4.5cm size.

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Keywords: animal, aphid, cornicle, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, of plant, pest, pheromone secretion, plant lice, wildlife, zoology

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