This page contains pictures and information about Milkweed Aphids that we
found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia. They are also known as Oleander Aphids.
- Body length 3mm
- Milkweed Aphids also known as Oleander
Aphids. They are
bright yellow in colour with black legs. They have a pair of black posterior
at the back of abdomen.
- Milkweed Aphids feed on oleanders and
milkweeds. They start colony on tender young stems. Aphids
usually cause little damage to plants even the colony grow to very large size. Aphids suck
juice from plants but they do not need so
many sugar. They pass them out of their bodies as honey-dew. This provides an
excellent medium for the growth of a black fungus. The black fungus mold interferes with photosynthesis and somewhat retards the
growth of the plant.
- There is a site in Macgregor, Brisbane with a lot of milkweeds. We often
visit there to look for the Wanderer
Butterflies. On those milkweeds, some are full of yellow Milkweed
Aphids. There are not many activates
except all the aphids are sucking the juice from plants.
- Most of them are female. Like all others aphids, they give birth live
instead of laying eggs. On the above pictures those little white fellows are the newly born
nymph. Notice there are the wingless and winged form of the aphids. Their wings
are thin with very reduced venation.
- Lady-beetles are the major predators of aphids.
Lady-beetle can be found easily when they are hunting among the aphids. The pictures
lady-beetles catching aphids. In the middle of the first picture, notice two maggots feeding on aphids. They
could be the larvae of the Hoverfly.
In the last photo a aphid was sucking the "milk" from the milkweed
while an ant came for the honey-dew
of the aphid. The two ladybirds hunt for the aphid.
- Notice that most
of the aphids are heading downwards. As most other aphids, Milkweed Aphids
are also parasitised by
the wasp. In the above photos those with dull or darker colours are
parasitised. Also check this page
for aphids parasitised.
- 1. Insects
of Australia - CSIRO, Division of Entomology, Melbourne University
Press, 2nd Edition 1991, p 455.
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