Grade 9 Biology Project 2 - "How Pheromones act as a Security System for Aphids"
The purpose of this science fair project is to demonstrate how aphids use pheromones as a security system. Aphids are plant lice. Aphids coexist on different types of plant stems. Aphids live by feasting on plant sap. Aphids feed by sticking their mouth into the plant and remain with the plant for an indefinite amount of time. Aphids would be content to remain on the same plant their entire life, but in reality they have to deal with predators.
Ladybird beetles love to feast on aphids. Aphids protect themselves through pheromone detection. A pheromone is a chemical that other aphids in an aphid colony can detect. Therefore, if one aphid is eaten by a Ladybird beetle that aphid will give off a pheromone to warn the other aphids. The aphids must then run for their lives!
Aphids use a pheromone as a security warning. If one aphid in the aphid colony is killed, it will give off a pheromone. The other aphids in the aphid colony will immediately flee the plant.
No aphids killed versus killing one aphid
- An aphid colony which is covers at 3 inches of a plant stem at a minimum. Note: You can seek out aphid colonies in your garden or garden store.
- Fine forceps
- Paper to record observations
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