Process of the Ahpids' Reproduction Cycle
The green peach aphid, myzus persicae, is quite versatile with regard to reproduction. Like most other insects, it lays eggs and reproduces sexually. Unlike other insects; however, sexual reproduction is the exception, not the norm.
Sexual reproduction in autumn
The green peach aphid reproduces sexually only in the final autumn generation in cold climates. Adults return to their spring host plants, usually peach trees, where they mate and lay eggs. These eggs lay dormant throughout the winter and then hatch in the spring.
Asexual reproduction in spring
Most of the time, the green peach aphid reproduces without mating and without laying eggs. In spring, the eggs laid the previous fall hatch and nymphs emerge. The nymphs begin to feed, and within a week or two, female nymphs give birth to a new generation of nymphs. This cycle repeats several times, until the aphid nymph population is too great for the host plant.
Dispersal in summer
When the spring host plant is too crowded, some nymphs mature to winged adults. These adults fly to a wide variety of summer host plants, including artichoke, kale, mustard and spinach. The winged adults do not mate, but deposit more nymphs on the summer host plants. A single winged adult may visit several plants, depositing nymphs on each plant. This process continues until the end of summer, when the autumn generation begins the reproductive cycle again.
Myzus persicae has a complex and fascinating life cycle. It employs a variety of reproductive strategies, which allows this common plant parasite to survive adverse conditions, such as the scarcity of host plants and harsh winters. A complete understanding of this insect's reproductive cycle is crucial to planning effective approaches to pest management.