The Garden Guide

Book: The Principles of Landscape Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 1: Entomology as Applied to Gardens

Aphid pests

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1655. Aphides are also the prey of another most cruel enemy. This is a small hymenopterous insect, which deposits its egg in their bodies: it is there hatched, and the larva feeds upon the bowels of the living insect; in a short time the aphis swells, becomes hard, and changes to a dark red colour. The artful destroyer within, when he finds his victim dying, eats a hole through its belly, and fastens it by that part to a leaf or twig. When the parasite has thus devoured the inside, and is ready to emerge as a perfect insect, he opens a passage for himself, by cutting out a circular hole on the side, leaving the piece attached to the body like a door on its hinges (fig. 290. m). Wall fruit trees, as the peach, apricot, and nectarine, are considerably injured by other species of aphides, which cause the leaves to rise into red tubercles; under these they reside, and, by sucking the sap, they cause the leaves to curl, and thus deform the tree and injure the produce. Mr. Swainson informs us of a fact, not generally known: that aphides are not found in South America; but that their place in nature is there supplied by numerous species of Membracis, Centrotus, &c. Lat. (fig. 288.), which are, in fact, the plant-lice of that continent.