Lupin aphid giving birth by parthenogenesis

Lupin aphid giving birth by parthenogenesis

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Aphid giving birth. Macrophotograph of a lupin aphid (Microsiphum albifrons) giving virgin birth to a genetically identical daughter on a lupin flower. Also called greenfly, aphids parasitize plants by biting into them and letting the sugary sap flow through their bodies. Their reproductive powers are phenomenal, making them a serious pest. This "stem mother" hatched from an over-wintering egg, and can give birth to genetically identical clones without sex. The offspring can do the same within days, so within weeks one aphid can popu- late a plant with thousands of its clones. The two horns on the aphid's rear protect the animal by spurting a waxy discharge into an attacker's face.

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Keywords: animal, aphid, aphid giving birth, birth, giving birth, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, lupin, lupin aphid, microsiphum albifrons, nature, parthenogenesis, type, wildlife, zoology

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