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科学美国人60秒: 小蚜虫骑大蚜虫到安全的地方

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Little Aphids Ride Big Ones To Safety

小蚜虫骑大蚜虫到安全的地方

Imagine you're an aphid, a tiny insect that sucks plant sap for a living. You’re munching away when a cow comes along to munch on the same plant you’re on. You feel its warm breath. So you drop to the ground to avoid being eaten, and run away.The ground is a scary place for an aphid, but it’s better than a cow’s mouth. But if you're an especially small, young aphid, also known as a nymph, scampering over cracks, stones, and twigs is really difficult.

想象你是一只蚜虫,一种以吸食植物汁液为生的小昆虫。你正在嚼的时候,一头牛过来嚼你正在吃的那棵植物。你能感觉到它温暖的气息。所以你掉到地上以免被吃掉,然后逃跑。对蚜虫来说,地面是一个可怕的地方,但它比牛的嘴好。但如果你是一只特别小的小蚜虫,也被称为若虫,在裂缝、石头和树枝上奔跑是非常困难的。

Luckily, young aphids have a solution. They climb aboard the back of a larger aphid that’s also making an escape and hitch a ride, cowboy style.“Sometimes there's a pile of nymphs at the beginning that climb on the adult, sometimes even eight or nine nymphs that all climb on the adult."University of Haifa entomologist Moshe Gish.

幸运的是,年幼的蚜虫有一个解决办法。他们爬上了一只更大的蚜虫的背部,这只蚜虫也逃了出来,搭上了牛仔式的便车。“有时一开始会有一堆仙女爬到大人身上,有时甚至会有八九个仙女爬到大人身上。”海法大学昆虫学家Moshe Gish.说。

Thanks to a series of experiments, Gish learned that the nymphs actively seek out adults after dropping to the ground. It's not that they just try to climb onto any old thing they find nearby.For the adults, the nymphs are a bit of a nuisance."There is some disadvantage for the adult. It slows it down.”The grownups try to toss off their riders, like a mechanical bull at a college bar. And they’ll toss off a relative just the same as they will an unrelated nymph. But somehow, evolution has allowed this piggyback riding behavior to persist.

通过一系列的实验,Moshe Gish.了解到仙女在跌落到地面后会主动寻找成年人。这并不是说他们只是想爬到附近的旧东西上去。对成年人来说,仙女有点讨厌。“这对成年人来说有些不利。它减慢了速度。大人们试图甩掉他们的骑手,就像大学酒吧里的机械公牛一样。它们会抛弃一个亲戚就像它们会抛弃一个不相关的仙女一样。但不知何故,进化让这种骑在背上的行为得以持续。

"Probably the cost that the adult pays for that delay is not high enough to balance the benefit that the colony gets from saving a few nymphs."In other words, the advantage to the younger bugs outweighs the cost imposed on the older ones. The entire colony benefits. The results are in the journal Frontiers in Zoology. [Moshe Gish & Moshe Inbar, Standing on the shoulders of giants: young aphids piggyback on adults when searching for a host plant]Aphids are some of agriculture's most important pests, but to Gish they are also a part of a fascinating, important ecosystem.

“很可能,成年蚁群为这一延迟所付出的代价,还不足以平衡蚁群从拯救几个仙女中获得的利益。”换句话说,对较小虫子的优势超过了对较年长虫子的成本。整个群体都受益。研究结果发表在《动物学前沿》杂志上。蚜虫是农业最重要的害虫之一,但对任来说,它们也是一个迷人的、重要的生态系统的一部分。

"Most people think of aphids—if we think of aphids—they think of aphids as tiny dots on their plants that kill off their plants. But there's a whole world there…all the interactions with the host plants and there’s a chemical warfare between aphids and their host plants. It’s coevolution and it’s an arms race. There's a lot of action going on between the aphids and the plants, and the aphids and their predators, and the aphids and the elements. It's a whole world."

“大多数人认为蚜虫——如果我们认为蚜虫的话——它们认为蚜虫是植物上的小点,杀死它们的植物。但是那里有一个完整的世界…所有与寄主植物的相互作用蚜虫和寄主植物之间有一场化学战。这是共同进化,也是一场军备竞赛。蚜虫和植物之间,蚜虫和它们的捕食者之间,蚜虫和大自然之间,有很多相互作用。这是一个完整的世界。

Little Aphids Ride Big Ones To Safety

Imagine you're an aphid, a tiny insect that sucks plant sap for a living. You’re munching away when a cow comes along to munch on the same plant you’re on. You feel its warm breath. So you drop to the ground to avoid being eaten, and run away.The ground is a scary place for an aphid, but it’s better than a cow’s mouth. But if you're an especially small, young aphid, also known as a nymph, scampering over cracks, stones, and twigs is really difficult.

Luckily, young aphids have a solution. They climb aboard the back of a larger aphid that’s also making an escape and hitch a ride, cowboy style.“Sometimes there's a pile of nymphs at the beginning that climb on the adult, sometimes even eight or nine nymphs that all climb on the adult."University of Haifa entomologist Moshe Gish.

Thanks to a series of experiments, Gish learned that the nymphs actively seek out adults after dropping to the ground. It's not that they just try to climb onto any old thing they find nearby.For the adults, the nymphs are a bit of a nuisance."There is some disadvantage for the adult. It slows it down.”The grownups try to toss off their riders, like a mechanical bull at a college bar. And they’ll toss off a relative just the same as they will an unrelated nymph. But somehow, evolution has allowed this piggyback riding behavior to persist.

"Probably the cost that the adult pays for that delay is not high enough to balance the benefit that the colony gets from saving a few nymphs."In other words, the advantage to the younger bugs outweighs the cost imposed on the older ones. The entire colony benefits. The results are in the journal Frontiers in Zoology. [Moshe Gish & Moshe Inbar, Standing on the shoulders of giants: young aphids piggyback on adults when searching for a host plant]Aphids are some of agriculture's most important pests, but to Gish they are also a part of a fascinating, important ecosystem.

"Most people think of aphids—if we think of aphids—they think of aphids as tiny dots on their plants that kill off their plants. But there's a whole world there…all the interactions with the host plants and there’s a chemical warfare between aphids and their host plants. It’s coevolution and it’s an arms race. There's a lot of action going on between the aphids and the plants, and the aphids and their predators, and the aphids and the elements. It's a whole world."


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