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  • 1 University of Szeged Department of Ecology H-6726 Szeged Középfasor 52 Hungary
  • 2 Acheuron Hungary Ltd. H-6726 Szeged Tiszavirág u. 11 Hungary
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Aphid populations feeding on common milkweed ( Asclepias syriaca L.) were investigated in seven different sand associations in Hungary during the spring of three years: 2005, 2007 and 2008. In each year the populations of Aphis gossypii colonized on the host plant. The experimental fields were selected on the following habitats: an orchard, a locust forest, a semi-natural grassland, an open sand grassland, a plough-land, poplar- and pine-grove clearings. In each year we surveyed the parameters of plant individuals and infestation of plants by aphids. The number of plants did not differ significantly, but the number of aphids showed a considerable difference. The colonies preferred the peak of shoots, the upper levels of plants and adaxial leaf surfaces. The host plant preference of aphids was tested by Spearman’s rank correlation and a Mann-Whitney test. In 2008 there was a heavy infestation on the apical parts of milkweed shoots on the plough-land, therefore many aphids moved to the abaxial leaf surfaces. The apterous forms usually dominated the aphid colonies except two areas of the 2008 year, where the high density of aphids generated alate production. Aphid colonies were attended by different ant species, therefore the aphid-ant mutualism was investigated in each sites.

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