Bug of the Week: Aphid Mummies

We have talked about aphid mummies before. They are the hardened shells formed when the aphids are parasitized by tiny wasps.

aphid-mummies-316This week the oleander aphids, Aphis nerii, have a high percentage of mummies. In fact, it was hard to find healthy bright yellow aphids. The mummies are all the beige to dark brown forms.

alate-aphid-mummy-227In this photograph there's a winged aphid that is mummified (the only live aphid is right behind it).

alate-aphid-mummy-227

If you look closely, you can see the dark round hole in the back to the aphid's abdomen where the adult wasp emerged.

Parasitic wasps are one reason aphids may disappear from plants so quickly.

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