`Twas two weeks after Christmas and what did I see, But a gaggle of aphids on my favorite beech tree.
Most aphids are not known for very large size,
But if size really matters, giant aphids win first prize.
These enormous sap-suckers spent several past weeks
Sipping plant sap from branches through very long beaks.
The moms slurp nutritious juice by night and by day,
And transform it to youngsters born alive, by the way.
While these spawning efforts are something to see,
The term for giving live-birth is viviparity.
In the last days of autumn cold winds start to blow And these gals change the game plan. They just seem to know.
Rather than giving live-birth to babes in the cold,
They lay eggs on small branches many thousand all told.
These fine eggs surely must be the perfect life stage
To withstand wicked winter when vicious storms rage.
If giant aphids can have hope, their fond hope must be
That no predators land and find eggs on the tree.
No worries for the aphids, be glad and happy
The eggs hatch in spring when the tree gets all sappy.
Bug of the Week thanks James for supplying the inspiration for this week’s episode. We also extend our apologies to Clement Clark Moore. To learn more about the magnificent giant aphid, please visit the following web sites.