Aphids are well known insects to gardeners and farmers across the world. They are considered one of the most damaging of all insect pests. There are actually only around 200-300 species that are serious pests out of over 4,000 known species.

Aphids feed on plant sap by piercing vessels within the plant. The pressure within the plant fluid forces the sap in to the aphid. The excess sap is excreted by the aphid as a substance called 'honeydew'. Honeydew is an important food source for other animals such as ants. Aphids themselves are also an important food source for animals such as birds, ladybirds and lacewing larvae.

Some aphid species lay eggs and others give birth to live young. Some even give birth via parthenogenesis so that offspring already have their own offspring developing inside them from the moment they are born.

A photograph of an aphid giving birth to live young.

A photograph of an aphid giving birth to live young.
Photograph by MedievalRich licensed under Creative Commons.

Other names for (or types of) Aphid include:

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