Pea aphid, who are you?

Pea aphid enjoying a drink

If you haven’t met pea aphid yet, then here is your chance. They have a life style so different and worth discovering. If you ignore them from their size or status then they might address you ‘ignoramus’! In fact they are kind of famous or notorious among part of our world. How, that we will know soon. They love to sip. And as they are really strict about sipping rather than eating, they have managed a permanent straw like mouth part (or stylet) for that. Diet wise they are pure vegan and only prefer a few plants like pea, clover or alfalfa as per record. But their huge sipping/sucking festival each summer, though green, costs million dollars of crop damage. Well there are also some horror stories when a pea aphid looses its sanity and goes cannibal. Yes they might suck from each other or from animals if there is nothing green to sip around.  What else are they doing besides their sipping rituals? They are propagating. And that is fairytalish! Yes, in cool autumn when the nights are longer, the mother and father pea aphid mate. But these two are special, they have wings. The imminent precious fertilized egg when hatches the next spring, surprise! all are daughters. These daughters are again superwomen. When grown up, they are capable of skipping the egg hiatus. They give birth to baby aphids straight out. Productivity is their motto. Each capable of hitting 100 in the reproduction scoreboard. Which is really helpful given the short time they are allowed to propagate. I know coming this far you have started to admire this smart little creation. Since we are living in an era when if I admire you I want to know your genome. Pea aphid became so fascinating, some couldn’t stop but studied their genome. I think I am going to write another post about some more interesting facts about this ancient sipping specialist and its smart survival strategies there in the field. By the way, it has an impressive name for human understanding. The so-called scientific name of pea aphid is Acyrthosiphon pisum and yes they are more ancient earth dweller than Homo sapiens for your information.

One thought on “Pea aphid, who are you?

  1. Pingback: What you eat… | FAIRY TALES THESE DAYS

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