Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ants and Aphids- The Perfect Partners

I was walking around my house, in between the bushes looking for insects. I encountered these tiny aphids on a small vine/climber, and these aphids were closely monitored by harmless red ants (Not the ones that bite painfully).
Its true that these ants and aphids are the perfect partners, just like the Clownfish and the Sea Anemone. Aphids are pests that destroy plants by sucking out the minerals and vitamins that the plant needs. However, they produce a sweet liquid from their backs that attracts the ants. the ants feed on this sweet liquid and in return, they provide protection to the aphids from other predators.
Here's a much closer look at the aphids. They come in different colours and sometimes sizes, although they are usually small. Sorry for the heavily cropped picture.


Adina & Kagome said...

Oh, they're so pudgy! The ones we have here in Arizona are really slim and green. They sort of look like tiny stick bugs! :D

Shawn said...

Hi Adina,

Haha! Yeah, aphids very greatly in sizes and appearances. Though they may be harmful to plants, I still appreciate their 'beauty' and love to photograph them!


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