Aphids are sometimes referred to plant lice. These insects are garden pests that are small in size, and lead to wide scale destruction of crops in temperate regions. There are around 4,400 species of aphids belonging to 10 families. Out of these 4,400 species, only 250 cause serious damage to plants. As mentioned earlier, these pests are small in size and their length varies from 1 mm to10 mm.
The good news is that these pests have natural enemies, which include lady beetles, larvae of hoverflies, parasitic wasps, crab spiders, aphid midge larvae, lacewings, and certain fungi like Lecanicillium lecanii and the Entomophthorales. So, if you have these natural aphid predators in your garden, you can get some respite from the aphid menace.
Although aphids are present all over the world, they are more abundant in temperate regions. The diversity of the species is less in tropical regions when compared to the temperate regions. They can travel great distances using natural wind. For instance, the currant lettuce aphid is said to have reached Tasmania from New Zealand. Aphids also spread through human transportation when infected plants are taken from one place to another.
Aphids suck nutrients from plants and end up making them lifeless. These insects have been roaming the face of the earth for a very long time. According to some fossil records, they have been inhabiting the planet for nearly 280 million years. However, the oldest fossil recovered was from the Triassic era, which was more than 220 million years ago. Over the centuries, these pesky and destructive pests have undergone evolutionary changes to adapt to their ever changing environment.
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