Pea aphid is one of the bugs that look like cockroaches, especially in terms of shape. Those who do not have many experiences with roaches would think that pea aphid looks completely different from roaches. It is because roaches have a green color which is distinguishable from house roaches that people often find.
Well, here comes the truth. Actually, there are also green roaches that you can find in nature. People call them green banana roaches. It is because they usually eat bananas and even carrots. That’s why sometimes it is quite hard to distinguish these green roaches from pea aphids. So, now, let’s talk more about the comparison.
Short Description of Pea Aphids
Pea aphids are plant pests that suck the sap on the leaves and stems of plants. The pea louse measures 1 mm in diameter and is light green in color. Usually, these insects forage on leguminous plants and some green leaves such as peas, beans, and clover. Pea aphids suck sugars and amino acids in the phloem tissue of the leaves.
After sucking the leaf sap, the leaf surface will be filled with black spots which are sugar liquid. This buildup of sugar liquid causes the leaves to become wrinkled and curl upwards. Pea aphid colonies can cause crop failure because damaged leaves can inhibit the process of photosynthesis.
The inhibition of photosynthesis results in a lack of nutrients in plants so that the peanut plants will die of drought. The genetic traits present in the DNA of the pea aphid are very easy to replicate into the DNA of other insects, such as fruit flies or Drosophila.
Female aphids lay eggs in winter, which hatch the following spring. The nymphs that hatch from these eggs are all females which undergo four molts before becoming sexually mature. They then begin to reproduce, like most ticks, via viviparous parthenogenesis.
Each adult female gives birth to four to twelve female nymphs each day, about a hundred in a single life cycle, which develops into an adult female in about seven to ten days. Adult aphids can live for about 30 days. Sexually fertilized female aphids lay eggs in winter, while parthenogenetic females only appear in early spring.
Some female aphids begin to wing as the aphid population grows. They spread to attack other plants, where they reproduce asexually. As temperatures get cooler and daylight hours get shorter, a population of winged males and females emerges.
The Similarity Between Pea Aphids and Cockroaches
Pea aphids and cockroaches undergo incomplete metamorphosis. The process of metamorphosis starts from eggs, nymphs (young insects), adult insects. When viewed using a magnifying glass, the pea louse looks like a Turkestan cockroach, which is pale in color and looks similar in shape (somewhat round and not flat).
Apart from belonging to the same phylum, pea aphids and cockroaches are both parasitic. As noted above, pea aphid colonies can result in crop failure. While one individual cockroach can transmit dangerous diseases to a person or group of people. So it can be said that the damage caused can be fatal for both humans and plants. Also, Pea aphids and cockroaches are social animals, they live in groups to form colonies.
The Difference Between Pea Aphids and Cockroach
Pea aphids are different from cockroaches. Starting with body size, pea aphids are 10x smaller than cockroaches. Pea aphids are not household pests so humans will not be directly affected by Pea aphids. Pea aphids do not bite humans and do not carry pathogenic bacteria in their bodies. So, it is unlike the cockroach that can enter the house and take the leftovers.
In addition, cockroaches carry disease-causing bacteria and if you don’t keep your body clean, cockroaches can bite humans. The genetic characteristics of cockroaches cannot be modified into new, distinct individuals, unlike Pea aphids. Pea aphids can only live on the leaves of legumes, while cockroaches can live in any condition.
At the last, Pea aphids and cockroaches reproduce asexually by parthenogenesis, but pea aphids can be lactating or viviparous. Some species of pea aphids can reproduce sexually.