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Thursday, 18 October 2018






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Sap Suckers
Stella M. Turk MBE

Sap sucker



Blackfly, whitefly, greenfly

But not all can fly!

And when there’s environmental change

There comes a need for a different range.

Then wingless ‘females only’ for generations

Will produce winged males for explorations

Heralding a new genetic mix

To exploit fresh survival tricks.

When balance is restored again

Females once more supremely reign,

For they’re very fast breeders

As well as fast feeders.

I’ve seen them clustered on bamboo*

Where ants milk them for ‘honeydew’.

The ants can give them some protection

From certain larvae** that avoid detection

Disguised to make them look quite guileless,

Their large jaws prove they are not harmless.

Despite providing a feast

For many a bird and beast,

Blackfly, whitefly, greenfly

Can make the strongest gardener cry!


Authors notes

*This was a Japanese species of aphid in prodigious numbers on a Japanese species of bamboo: even the slates below the bamboo were sticky with honeydew!

**The larva of a hoverfly (Syrphidae) which disguises itself with its shed skins.

Stella M Turk MBE

May 2008


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