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End-of-the-year aphids

 
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rjlittlefield



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 727
Location: Richland, WA, USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:57 pm    Post subject: End-of-the-year aphids Reply with quote

It's turning fall here in the Pacific Northwest,.
I guess the aphids are doing their get-ready-for-winter strange stuff.
These are on a milkweed plant in my garden.

Canon D300
Sigma 105mm macro at 1:1, no crop
1/200 sec at f/16 setting, ISO 200
Electronic flash, Pentax AF200T on manual 1/8 power, held at end of lens.

I know that there are others in this group who know a lot more about aphids than I do.
Can someone please chime in to tell me about this bizarre assembly of forms and colors?

I am especially curious about what might have formed the empty shells with the circular holes carved in their abdomens. Confused

You can see the full-resolution image (431KB) at http://www.janrik.net/insects/Misc/20051015/CRW_7252_FullRes.jpg)

Here is a 50% crop at max posting size that shows more detail for the forum.


--Rik
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Ken Ramos
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Joined: 04 May 2004
Posts: 4809
Location: Western North Carolina

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are some REALLY neat shots Rik, love those colors! Surprised I don't know a whole lot about aphids, I love to photograph them under the stereomicroscope however. As for the holes in the shells...maybe a predator of sorts. It is probably to late in the year up your way for lacewings and such, isn't it? Think
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Kens Microscopy
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rjlittlefield



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 727
Location: Richland, WA, USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have not had any frosts yet, so I'm thinking that most of the predators are probably still at least lurking.

These aphids came as a complete surprise to me. I have not been paying a bit of attention to my garden for weeks. Today my wife asked for some help with the heavy shoveling, and while I was bent over, I happened to notice these very unusual aphids. I have no clue how long they have been there, or what might have been feeding on them. And now I have to be away from home for the next week or so. It'll be interesting to see what if anything is still around when I get back!

--Rik
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 1200
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik... don't know for sure, but there are many small parasitic wasps that go after the aphids. Perhaps the end result of this "invasion of the body snatchers" is what you have here with the "shells" with an exit hole cut into the top.
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 1200
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just Googled... check out the second picture on this page:
http://www.ipmofalaska.com/files/aphidius.html
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rjlittlefield



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 727
Location: Richland, WA, USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie -- beautiful...thanks!
--Rik
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Ken Ramos
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Joined: 04 May 2004
Posts: 4809
Location: Western North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just checked out the link Charlie posted, amazing the things that go on in nature. Also amazing is the links you guys find relating to some of the subjects posted. Good work guys. Very Happy
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Kenneth Ramos
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Kens Microscopy
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gunn



Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 393
Location: Adelaide/KL

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lovely images Rik.
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