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Aphis, The (1930)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

An aphid lands on a rosebud, on which it feeds by driving its beak into the stem and drawing up sap. The sap is digested by the insect and made into a sugary syrup, honeydew, which it discharges through two tubes on its back. Ants eat the honeydew by stroking the aphid. On a rose leaf, ants pull the legs of another insect in rivalry for the honeydew.

Aphids produce young every ninety minutes. A young aphid sheds its first coat of membrane. Young aphids cluster on a stem - all the result of one aphid reproducing over 24 hours. After a week, the stem is clustered with aphids - all from the same mother. Fly and ladybird larvae on the same stem eat the aphids. The ladybird sucks it dry without chewing it.

A fully grown aphid opens its wings and flies to a new rose shoot, to start a new colony. Dock leaves curl under the weight of the aphids, and the curled leaf protects them. Male and female aphids mate on a stem, and produce torpedo-shaped eggs.

A gardener sprays his bean plants, and the roots of his roses.