Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gruesome Greenfly Pictures...

If your garden is as plagued by greenfly as mine is, then this will be a welcome sight - a hoverfly larva tucking into an aphid. It's interesting to watch one of these voracious larvae crawl into a group of aphids. Once the aphids are attacked they emit alarm pheromones and the whole colony instantly becomes restless and begins to drop off the plant in a desperate attempt to escape........ but some are not quick enough....

The hoverfly larvae swallow the aphids tail-first....

... or head-first; they are not choosy. Hoverflies are assets in any garden. Many are pollen feeders, so a good supply of pollen-rich flowers (the daisy family is always a good bet) will ensure that they breed in a garden and produce plenty of these useful predators.

Recently the alarm pheromone that aphids produce and makes them drop off plants when they are threatened has been genetically engineered into wheat crop plants, in an attempt to protect the plants from aphid attack.

10 comments:

  1. I wish I had some of those hoverflies in my garden.

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  2. Excellent shots..........amazing what I learn before breakfast.

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  3. Gosh, that is rather amazing, I hope for lots of Hoverflies.

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  4. Wonderful shots and interesting post.

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  5. Please do send some of them my way. And, I am impressed by these wonderful "action pictures"

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  6. Gruesome but useful, lotusleaf..

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  7. Almost makes you feel sorry for the hreenfly, doesn't it Adrian...?

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  8. It seems to be a good summer for hoverflies around here, toffeeapple...

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  9. Thanks Jenny, hope you get a good supply of these beasties!

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