(with monarch egg)
Who am I?
I am aphid hear me roar! Seriously we are all females. Who needs males? When I mature I don't lay eggs, I lay nymphs -- mini mes that will grow up quickly and make more nymphs. That is why you see us in such huge numbers on your milkweed plants. (An asexual method of reproduction called parthenogenesis.) My daughters are all clones of myself and fertile! We are all very tiny (about 3mm) true yellow bugs.
Where can you find me?
I can be found starting in early summer on milkweed, vinca and some other plants. We coat the stems and suck the juices for lunch. We can be found in all warm to tropical climates.
What do I eat?
Plant juice (sap) preferably on young tender shoots. That is it.
What might eat me?
Ladybugs! We hate lady bugs. But they will never eat enough of us to keep us down. We produce more babies than they can eat. Okay, lacewings, some other fly larvae and a couple of wasps will prey on me and mine as well.
Cool reasons why I am the critter of the month!
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
-Mary Oliver -