Canadian Geographic Photo Club - Boogie-Woogie Aphid closeup

Boogie-Woogie Aphid closeup

by Allen_Woodliffe from Chatham CA on 28 Sep 2016

When one is walking through the forest where American Beech trees are present, one might come across a strange sight.....a snow-white branch. A closer look will reveal a dense cluster of tiny creatures known as the Beech Blight Aphid. This photo is a close-up of just a couple of the aphids, showing their hind end filament. If you jiggle the branch a bit, the cluster of creatures will all point their hind end in the air and wave back and forth, with the tiny thread-like extension waving back and forth as well. The movement is supposedly a behaviour to scare away a potential predator, such as a bird. This behaviour has given the creature the nick-name of "Boogie-woogie Aphid". It is quite entertaining, and something to be looked for in the late summer. These aphid excrete a honey-dew like substance that drips to a branch below, and over the subsequent few months, will turn black as a fungus attaches itself to the honey-dew. These blackened branches are quite visible throughout the winter and even into the following spring. The fungus is apparently not harmful to the tree. This photo was taken at Rondeau Provincial Park, ON.

  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • Focal: 100 mm
  • Shutter speed: 0.008 sec
  • Aperture: f/ 22
  • ISO: 400
tagged: 'beech blight aphid' 'boogie-woogie aphid' 'aphid' 'american beech'


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