Factors affecting the proportion of sterile soldiers in growing aphid colonies

  title={Factors affecting the proportion of sterile soldiers in growing aphid colonies},
  author={Shigeyuki Aoki and Masaru Imai},
  journal={Population Ecology},
The proportion of sterile soldiers in an aphid colony is positively correlated with colony size. Assuming logistic growth of the aphid colony, Aoki and Kurosu (Insect Soc 50:256–261, 2003) presented an inequality that determines, for any colony size, whether a soldier or a reproductive will be added to the colony. To put it in words, if the marginal defensive efficacy of a soldier, multiplied by the number of reproductives, is larger than the mean productivity of reproductives without defense… 

The optimal balance of defence investment strategies in clonal colonies of social aphids

A matrix population model based on the natural history of one of the unique aphid species with soldiers, Pemphigus spyrothecae, demonstrated that, in species which have soldiers that can facultatively develop to make a direct contribution to colony fitness, temporal extension of the soldier stage is a key mechanism of increasing defence investment.

The Ecology of Altruism in a Clonal Insect

The ecological context of altruism in social aphids has been shown to be quite intricate since it is now clear that colony defense is not the only costly behavior that they perform: they also have vital roles in keeping the colony clean, migrating to new colonies, and repairing their nest.

Ecological correlates of sociality in Pemphigus aphids, with a partial phylogeny of the genus

The life-history strategy of P. spyrothecae appears to be geared towards defending the colony against the constant threat of predation that faces the inhabitants of a long-lived, open gall, and P. populi, which has no soldiers but makes an entirely-sealed gall, appears to represent a compromise between these strategies.

Soldiers' armature changes seasonally and locally in an eusocial aphid (Homoptera : Aphididae)

It is shown for the first time that the sterile soldiers of eusocial aphids change the size and shape of their armatures, seasonally and locally, and evidence is presented that, in non-soldier individuals, the sizes of armatures were seasonally constant.

A Review of the Biology of Cerataphidini (Hemiptera, Aphididae, Hormaphidinae), Focusing Mainly on Their Life Cycles, Gall Formation, and Soldiers

The life cycles of cerataphidines are basically the same as those of the subfamily Eriosomatinae, but in tropical and subtropical regions their life cycles are not very rigidly tuned to seasonal changes in the climate if any.

Comparative Social Behavior

A New Soldier-Producing Aphid Species, Pseudoregma baenzigeri, sp. nov., from Northern Thailand

P. baenzigeri can be distinguished from those of the other congeners by the longer, conical ultimate rostral segment and a tentative key to the species of Pseudoregma living on bamboo is provided.

Formation of long‐lasting galls by overwintered nymphs in the Japanese aphid Quadrartus yoshinomiyai (Hemiptera: Aphididae: Hormaphidinae)

Results suggest that the aphid Quadrartus yoshinomiyai has a three‐year life cycle.



Logistic model for soldier production in aphids

A simple model assuming logistic growth of the aphid colony predicts that a first soldier is more readily produced in large colonies than in small colonies, because the productivity of each reproductive decreases as the colony size increases, and also because the efficiency of defense increases as the number of reproductives defended by the soldier increases.

How many soldiers are optimal for an aphid colony?

Reproductive schedule and factors affecting soldier production in the eusocial bamboo aphid Pseudoregma bambucicola (Homoptera, Aphididae)

The reproductive characteristics of the soldier-producing aphid Pseudoregma bambucicola were studied in Kagoshima, Southern Japan to know the factors affecting soldier production of eusocial aphids and revealed maternal effects on soldier production.

Factors affecting the proportion of soldiers in eusocial bamboo aphid, Pseudoregma bambucicola, colonies

The proportion (percentage to all individuals) of soldier-type first-instar larvae in colonies of the eusocial aphid, Pseudoregma bambucicola, was measured at bamboo stands in Kagoshima Prefecture,

Density triggers soldier production in a social aphid

This study provides the first experimental demonstration of an environmental factor involved in aphid soldier differentiation, and concludes that aphid density is the crucial cue that triggers soldier production in T. styraci.


  • D. SternW. Foster
  • Biology
    Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • 1996
It is shown that the distribution of soldier production requires a minimum of six to nine evolutionary origins plus at least one loss, and an optimality model for soldier investment strategies is presented to help guide investigations of the ecological factors selecting for soldiers.

Ant tending influences soldier production in a social aphid

It is found that the level of ant tending correlated negatively with soldier investment in P.sundanica populations, demonstrating that social aphids can adjust their investment in soldiers in direct response to environmental change.

The proximate cue of density-dependent soldier production in a social aphid.

Social structure and the defensive role of soldiers in a eusocial bamboo aphid,Pseudoregma bambucicola (Homoptera: Aphididae): A test of the defence-optimization hypothesis

  • H. Shibao
  • Environmental Science
    Researches on Population Ecology
  • 2007
Results agree with the defence-optimization hypothesis in soldier investment of P. bambucicola colonies, suggesting that soldiers can more or less defend their colonies by killing or removing a range of natural enemies.

Reversal of caste production schedule in a eusocial aphid,Pseudoregma koshunensis

It is reported that mothers of a eusocial aphid, Pseudoregma koshunensis (Homoptera: Pemphigidae), lay both types of larvae, and they produce reproductives first and then soldiers, completely opposite to reproductive schedules of queens of other eussocial insects.