Bug of the Week

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.

The kids in my insect science class were so surprised to find that mealworms turned into beetles.

mealworm-larva-332Yes, this mealworm turns into:

adult-mealworm-beetle-0264a black beetle.

 

okay-adult-mealworm-beetle-0247This was a fun and easy lesson about metamorphosis, using some wheat bran and potatoes from the grocery store and a few mealworms from a pet shop.

See details on how to raise mealworms from our previous lesson on beetles.