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  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Cult:Aphids
  • From: "John I. Jones" <jijones@ix.netcom.com>
  • Date: Mon, 15 Jun 1998 22:25:32 +0000
  • References: <> <>

ernie henson wrote:
> >
> John....you've been doing such a wonderful job but we didn't want to
> overburdon
> you so we haven't taken advantage of your generous offer.  Thank goodness,
> those with more important things to say, did so and thereby held us together.
> Hope anyone new that tried to subscribe during this down time will try
> again.I can't wait for more convention posts....and I miss hearing from the
> rest of the regular gang. Hope there will be many, many messages when the
> list goes back on.  One question, John...did you say the ants might be
> "cultivating" aphids?
> as in encouraging their presence somehow to harvest the sweet substance
> made by them?  How do they go about bringing the aphids to the irises?
> Discuss this, please.       Ann Henson in S. Illinois where it's raining,
> hailing, cool and cloudy and I don't dare check for rot.   erni@midwest.net
> I guess the list is not on quite yet, since we got no new messages this PM>
> >

John comments and forwards:

I found this on the web at:


Aphids are small, plant-sucking insects harmful to many commercially
important plants. Although humans consider them pests, aphids are
important to a number of species of ants. For example, honeydew ants
keep herds of aphids and periodically “milk” them for their honeydew by
stroking the aphids gently with their antennae. Ants will aggressively
protect their aphids and may even move them when they are in danger,
transferring them into temporary shelters or new nests. Some ant species
also move their aphids into underground shelters or burrows during the
winter months. 

Charles Kingery/Phototake NYC Aphids," Microsoft® Encarta® 96
Encyclopedia. © 1993-1995 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. 

Probably not what was going on in the garden with the ants. I was
thinking there was a more general attraction of ants to aphids, and that
ants would move aphids around on plants,  but I haven't been able to
find anything to support that position.


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