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AnthonyP163's Aphid Research and Cultivation

aphid aphids aphid farm aphid colony

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9 replies to this topic

#1 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 18 2019 - 2:58 PM

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7/18/19

 

Today, I gathered some of the thistles which are by my pond. I transplanted some smaller plants into my Tetramorium setup and some into their own. Once these have grown a bit, I will collect the aphid Uroleucon sonchii from my yard and cultivate/study them. 

 

Here are some pictures:

a plant in the Tetramorium setup, there's also a bean plant in there. 

 

 

I'll try to keep this updated, however I doubt there will be too much to journal about. 

 

 


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#2 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 22 2019 - 3:52 PM

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7/22/19

 

The thistles in the Tetramorium setup have been alright, while the one on its own seems to have died. I will attempt to get more.

 

I found Tetramorium outside tending to some aphids, and figured it was a different species from Uroleucon sonchii because U. sonchii don't seem to be tended by anything. 

 

I collected two different species of aphids. I'll likely have the species for these aphids in the next post. I put a leaf with two of the aphids being tended right next to one of the thistles in the Tetramorium setup, and they reacted in an inquisitive way, inspecting the aphids. This reaction was completely different than the reaction to U. sonchii, where they begin to pull on the legs and attack the aphid. 

 

Here's a video of some workers coming to inspect the new aphids. Sound off. 

 

A while after that, I see them sort of patrolling that leaf. It seems they've decided to tend those aphids, maybe they'll be moved to the plant once the leaf shrivels up. 

 

These are the aphids they're tending: 

 

Here's another aphid or mealybug. It's really pretty, but I think it's dead. 

 

I found out I actually have Monarda on the side of my house, and I'm going to try to find some aphids on it. 



#3 Offline ponerinecat - Posted July 24 2019 - 1:13 PM

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7/22/19

 

The thistles in the Tetramorium setup have been alright, while the one on its own seems to have died. I will attempt to get more.

 

I found Tetramorium outside tending to some aphids, and figured it was a different species from Uroleucon sonchii because U. sonchii don't seem to be tended by anything. 

 

I collected two different species of aphids. I'll likely have the species for these aphids in the next post. I put a leaf with two of the aphids being tended right next to one of the thistles in the Tetramorium setup, and they reacted in an inquisitive way, inspecting the aphids. This reaction was completely different than the reaction to U. sonchii, where they begin to pull on the legs and attack the aphid. 

 

Here's a video of some workers coming to inspect the new aphids. Sound off. 

 

A while after that, I see them sort of patrolling that leaf. It seems they've decided to tend those aphids, maybe they'll be moved to the plant once the leaf shrivels up. 

 

These are the aphids they're tending: 

 

Here's another aphid or mealybug. It's really pretty, but I think it's dead. 

 

I found out I actually have Monarda on the side of my house, and I'm going to try to find some aphids on it. 

the dead one is a husk, likely from a parasitic wasp.



#4 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 24 2019 - 2:12 PM

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7/22/19

 

The thistles in the Tetramorium setup have been alright, while the one on its own seems to have died. I will attempt to get more.

 

I found Tetramorium outside tending to some aphids, and figured it was a different species from Uroleucon sonchii because U. sonchii don't seem to be tended by anything. 

 

I collected two different species of aphids. I'll likely have the species for these aphids in the next post. I put a leaf with two of the aphids being tended right next to one of the thistles in the Tetramorium setup, and they reacted in an inquisitive way, inspecting the aphids. This reaction was completely different than the reaction to U. sonchii, where they begin to pull on the legs and attack the aphid. 

 

Here's a video of some workers coming to inspect the new aphids. Sound off. 

 

A while after that, I see them sort of patrolling that leaf. It seems they've decided to tend those aphids, maybe they'll be moved to the plant once the leaf shrivels up. 

 

These are the aphids they're tending: 

 

Here's another aphid or mealybug. It's really pretty, but I think it's dead. 

 

I found out I actually have Monarda on the side of my house, and I'm going to try to find some aphids on it. 

the dead one is a husk, likely from a parasitic wasp.

 

Correct, Andy Jensen let me know that in an email. 



#5 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 24 2019 - 2:23 PM

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7/24/19

 

I've found oleander aphids on some of the milkweed in my yard. Last year, the population fizzled out toward the end of the summer. 

 

The aphids which I introduced to my Tetramorium are probably Aphis asclepiadis according to Jensen. I didn't find any aphids on the Monarda, but I will be planting a few native plants which can have aphids and I hope to have some interesting aphid diversity in my yard by next summer. 


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#6 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted August 7 2019 - 8:53 PM

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8/7/19

 

Now that the sow-thistle has grown almost up to the top of the tank and has begun to grow buds, I decided to retry introducing Uroleucon sonchii. I held the plant leaf flat until the 15 or so aphids that I had caught from a branch outside had all grabbed onto the leaf. Within a few hours, some of the aphids have started feeding from the underside of a leaf, but two larger ones went to the top of the plant and have already begun to clone more tiny aphids. I'm looking forward to see if the Tetramorium in the setup will leave them alone, tend them, or benefit from them. I'm also excited to see if anything else notable will happen. I'm unsure what I'll do if winged aphids appear but I do have a mesh lid for the tank. 

 

One of the sow-thistle plants is still small, the one with the aphids is about 6-8 inches tall while the other one is 2-3. However, both are healthy and growing. The small plant seems poised to grow taller. 

 

Here's a few minutes after I introduced the aphids: 

 

 

Here's the aphids that I can get pictures of about 6 hours later: 

 

 

The plant is maturing: 


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#7 Online ANTdrew - Posted August 8 2019 - 4:02 AM

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Fascinating!

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#8 Offline ponerinecat - Posted August 13 2019 - 9:13 PM

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med_gallery_3141_1634_289535.jpg

 

Here's a cool little aphid I found at my light tonight.


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#9 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted August 14 2019 - 9:42 PM

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8/15/19

 

The aphids have definitely been maturing. The original mature ones who began to clone at the beginning have gotten wings, so I've put the mesh top on. The ones which were cloned in the beginning have been growing as well! It's interesting to see how they change each day and I'm excited for the group to grow. 

 

 

Probably one of the greenest Tetramorium setups out there  :lol:

 

A wacky picture of some aphids that showed up on the fleabane in my yard.


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#10 Online ANTdrew - Posted August 15 2019 - 2:11 AM

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I love fleabane!
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25






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