Is next: Green Leopard Plague

First evidence for photosynthesis in insects

The biology of aphids is bizarre: they can be born pregnant and males sometimes lack mouths, causing them to die not long after mating. In an addition to their list of anomalies, work published this week indicates that they may also capture sunlight and use the energy for metabolic purposes.

[...] Green aphids, which contain high levels of carotenoids, make significantly more ATP than do white ones, which are almost devoid of these pigments. Moreover, ATP production rose when the orange insects -- which contain an intermediate amount of carotenoids -- were placed in the light, and fell when they were moved into the dark.

The researchers went on to crush the orange aphids and purify their carotenoids, demonstrating that it was these extracts that could absorb light and pass this energy on.

(In re subject: read this book.)

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One Response:

  1. Peter Hollo says:

    Yes. Walter Jon Williams. Yes.
    Also, photosynthesising insects! Yes!