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Aphids, or plant lice, are small, soft-bodied insects. There are hundreds of different species of aphids, some of which attack only one host plant while others attack numerous hosts. Most aphids are about 1/10 inch long (2.54 mm), and though green and black are the most common colors, they may be gray, brown, pink, red, yellow, or lavender. A characteristic common to all is the presence of two tubes, called cornicles, on the back ends of their bodies. The cornicles secrete defensive substances. In some species they are quite long, while in others they are very short and difficult to see. Aphids feed in clusters and generally prefer new, succulent shoots or young leaves. Some species, known as wooly aphids, are covered with white, waxy filaments, which they produce from special glands. Order: Homoptera, Family: Aphididae.
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
November 3, 2014