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Aphids

Contents:

  1. Aphid plant preferences
    by ac554/freenet.carleton.ca (David Whittaker) (Wed, 18 Feb 1998)
  2. Re:"Mite" killer? (Phyllanthus fluitans)
    by krombhol/teclink.net (Paul Krombholz) (Thu, 26 Feb 1998)
  3. RE: Jumpy bugs
    by Mark Fisher <Mark.Fisher/tpwd.state.tx.us> (Fri, 4 Dec 1998)
  4. RE: The hopping bug question
    by Mark Fisher <Mark.Fisher/tpwd.state.tx.us> (Wed, 7 Apr 1999)

Aphid plant preferences

by ac554/freenet.carleton.ca (David Whittaker)
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 1998

A day or two ago someone asked if there were any floating plants
which aphids would not decimate. I've had an aphid problem for
some time, and while your aphids may belong to a different clan
than mine, here are my observations. 

They love salvinia minima and most emergent stem plants which
are attacked as they grow at or above the water surface. This
includes the rotalas, the hygros, bacopa caroliniana, vallisneria,
nesaea, swords, hornwort, etc. They pay little attention to water
sprite and water lettuce. That doesn't leave much does it?

- --
Dave Whittaker
ac554-at-FreeNet.Carleton.ca

Re:"Mite" killer? (Phyllanthus fluitans)

by krombhol/teclink.net (Paul Krombholz)
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998

>By dumb luck and observation, Phyllanthus fluitans (a pretty floating plant
>that quickly multiplys) was added to three aquariums with "mites".  In a
>period of a few weeks, the plants multiplied and the "mites" are gone.
>This plant requires good lighting, but does not do too well in ponds with
>bright sunlight.  Koi and Goldfish love to eat this plant in particular.
>
>If someone is having a problem with these little "jumping bugs" on the
>surface of their aquariums............

It sounds like the little jumping bugs are insects in the order Collembola,
also called springtails.  As far as I know, they are harmless to aquatic
plants and live on algae on the surface and sides of the tank.  Phyllanthus
is in the family Euphorbiaceae, which also includes milkweeds, which are
well known for their defensive chemicals.

Paul Krombholz, in central Mississippi with more rain on the way. 

RE: Jumpy bugs

by Mark Fisher <Mark.Fisher/tpwd.state.tx.us>
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998

> Lately, I noticed some small brown bugs on the surface of the 
> isolation tank.
> They are small, about 1mm in size, and they jump around, alot 
> like baby
> grasshoppers when you walk through long grass.  Does anyone know what
> they are?

These insects are called springtails, or Collembola.  These are among
the most numerous arthropods on Earth, with over four thousand species
recognized, but relatively little is known about them.  They can be
found in almost every habitat, including caves, Antarctica, and in deep
soil, except they do not occur in the open ocean or under water.

They feed on surface mulm and decaying plant matter.  They do no harm,
and can be an important food item for some fish.

Regards,

Mark


RE: The hopping bug question

by Mark Fisher <Mark.Fisher/tpwd.state.tx.us>
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 1999

> Perfect timing!  Page 153 of TFH April 1999 edition.
> 
> Question was asked about floating and jumping bugs about the 
> size of a small pinhead.
> 
> Answer (in brief):  probably water mites introduced via live plants.

Except that water mites neither jump nor float.  Those jumping, floating
insects are springtails, which are commonly found on the surface film of
planted aquaria.  They eat plant debris.  

Water mites are denser than water, and sink when not in motion.  Some
are good swimmers, but others can only crawl.
Aquatic springtails can have specially adapted feet that allows them to
"walk on water", and they also have a catchlike spring holder, called a
furcula, that when released throws the insect into the air, hence the
"jumping" we see.

Water mites are often brightly colored, and have no body segmentation.
Springtails are often drab colored, and are distinctly segmented.

Water mites have 8 legs, while springtails have 6.

A good general reference on this topic is "Fresh-Water Invertebrates of
the United States" by Robert W. Pennak.

Regards,

Mark


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