Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Bug: Smokey-winged Poplar Aphid.

Chaitophorus  populicola + appreciative flower fly larva
The Smokey-winged Poplar Aphid (Chaitophorus cf populicola Thomas, 1878) has appeared on the Home Bug Garden before under another common name - the Speckled Poplar Aphid - as part of a long post on the rather poor care they receive from their tending black ants. However, they are attractive enough for a Friday Bug and this picture shows what looks like a different kind of syrphid larva feasting away. Perhaps the prevalence of predators of aspen aphids explains why Ives & Wong (1988. Tree and shrub insects of the prairie provinces. Northern Forestry Centre Information Report NOR-X-292) report that none are serious pests except in ornamental plantings. So, unless you have an aspen in your yard (not recommended because the roots seek out water mains), you are free to enjoy this non-pest pest.

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