PHYLUM ARTHROPODA, CLASS INSECTA, ORDER HEMIPTERA
- Family recognition (California, local): Aphididae (aphids)
- DISTRIBUTION: about 500 California species; terrestrial and found on living plants.
- MORPHOLOGY: 1.5-5 mm long. Head hypognathous with piercing, sucking mouthparts. Possess two, tubelike projections near the rear of the abdomen called cornicles. Membranous wings (forewing larger than hind wing) with reduced venation.
- DIET: Feed on plant fluids. Feeding aphids produce honeydew, a sugar-rich fluid expelled from the anus.
- REPRODUCTION: Wingless female practice parthenogenesis and are ovoviviparous. Adults later in the year reproduce sexually.Many aphid species are pests of crop and ornamental plants. Aphids are often tended by ants that protect the aphids from predation and parasitism in return for honeydew.