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Aphids for breakfast, lunch and dinner...

 
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Charles Krebs



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

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:12 am    Post subject: Aphids for breakfast, lunch and dinner... Reply with quote

A cherry tree in my yard has some leaves that are curled up and infested with aphids. But the predators are moving in. I don't know what this larva is (likely a midge, fly or wasp of some kind) but there are now a goodly number mixed in with the aphids. The top shot gives an "overall" view of a larva. The middle image shows one selecting it's next meal. The final image shows a side view with a nearly "completed" aphid.










All taken with Nikon D200 and Canon 35/2.8 photomacrography lens. SB-800 flash.
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crocoite



Joined: 10 May 2006
Posts: 107
Location: Tasmania

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice images Charles.

The aphids don't even seem to mind having a predator in their midst. I wonder if its one of those situations where the larva emits chemical scents that the aphids don't recognise as a threat?
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Ken Ramos
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Joined: 04 May 2004
Posts: 4809
Location: Western North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful images Charlie and quite informative. Very Happy That explains some of the empty aphid hulls I see from time to time. Wink

Brings to mind and old horror film I once saw back in the sixties called, "The Brain Eaters." These things would sneak up behind you and attach themselves to the back of your head and suck out your brains. Laughing Those old horror films were so entertaining back then, because they left something to your imagination. Wink
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Beetleman



Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 362
Location: Southern New Hampshire USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Charles for showing us some of Lifes most dramatic moments which we would probably miss if it wasn`t for you and your macro & micro photographs.
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Charles Krebs



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

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys!
Steve... I was actually going to mention the point you made. That was actually what I found most interesting in this scenario.

These larva were mixed right in the middle of the grouped aphids. The aphids would be nestled right up against them, sometimes even crawling over them as they devoured an aphid buddy. (See top photo in two shot panel below). There were a large number of ants "tending" the flock, and they too would walk right over them with no sense of alarm. (I observed the same ants go after a ladybug larva that threatened the aphids). I even wondered if the two protuberances at the butt-end of these larvae, (slightly mimicking an aphid), somehow contributed to it's apparent acceptance. The other thing that struck me was that when these larvae nosed around and found their next meal, the targeted aphid would continue to feed until it was actually being lifted off of it's feet. (Lower shot of the panel below). So while I don't expect any rapid evasive action from aphids ( Wink ), it was still interesting to see just how "accepted" these larvae were in their midst.

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