Wing induction in the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura (Hemiptera: Aphididae): mechanisms and trade-offs
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Alate morphs can benefit aphid populations by facilitating dispersal from deteriorating food sources and by escaping from natural enemies. Wing development, however, imposes constraints on fecundity. The soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura (Hemiptera: Aphididae), is an important economic pest in the U.S. and Canada. I conducted a series of laboratory and field experiments to determine the environmental factors inducing wing development in this species, and to determine the effects of asexual alate individual production on an A. glycines population under predation. My results reveal that wing induction in A. glycines occurs in response to interactions between crowding and decreased plant quality cues, and that alate aphid production benefits an aphid population under predation by increasing prevalence at a temporary cost to fecundity. My results contribute to the growing knowledge on the production of asexual alate aphids and provide insight into the biology of A. glycines as an agricultural pest.