Friday, March 14, 2008

They're taking over!!!

I'm on a roll with my insect plushies! Candice the caddisfly has been sold, yay!

And now, for Annabelle the aphid:

Here are a few of my own photos of aphids:
There are many species of aphids in the world, and they are true bugs (order Hemiptera, suborder Sternorrhyncha), meaning they have piercing sucking mouthparts. They use these to suck the sugary juices from plant stems. They can spread diseases and otherwise overwhelm the plant, making them nasty pests abhorred by the agricultural industry. However, they have some interesting interactions in nature.

Aphids need to suck up a LOT of sap to get enough nutrients, and the excess water and juices need to be expelled quickly. They produce "honeydew" from their abdomens, which is taken advantage of by some ants. In return for the tasty treats, the ants take care of the aphids, herding them like cattle. They offer protection from other predators, creating a mutualistic relationship that's not often seen in nature.

In other news, I also decided to change some things around in my shop. I had so many listings for baby monsters, selling a few here and there, and figured I'd clean things up. I'm making the baby monsters a RANDOM selection. That's right... if you buy the listing, you never know which one you'll get! For sale here.


Tizzalicious said...

I like how cute you make bugs look!

missfire said...

I love aphids! I posted about my "bugs" today . . . with pictures!

Caroline said...

It's great how you've found a way to work your interests into your crafting!

Jess said...

i love your bug facts!!
even though i prefer sea creatures to bugs!

nanjodogz said...

Your bugs are adorable!