Animals use different strategies to deal with changing environmental conditions. While standing and feeding on their host plant, aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae) may be exposed to detrimental environmental perturbations, such as strong winds. If aphids are forcibly blown off the plant and spend time on the ground, they will face additional dangers by both ground-dwelling predators and detrimental soil temperature. It is therefore adaptive for aphids to behave in a way that lowers the risk of being removed from the plant. We observed that pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris) ) display a specific crouched body posture, previously undescribed, which reduces their chance of being carried off from the plant by sudden winds. We exposed aphids in the laboratory to different cues indicative of a windy environment: wind, plant vibration, and visual stimuli. We found that aphids crouch in two situations: 1) reactively, when they are being pulled by a continuous gust of wind threatening to dislodge them. 2) Anticipatorily, when environmental cues, such as plant vibration or continuous movement near their host plant, may signify that sudden wind gusts are expected. Crouching aphids were less likely to be dislodged by a sudden air stream or plant vibration than were aphids that did not crouch. Crouching thus improves the aphids' chances of remaining on their host plant under unfavorable environmental conditions.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.