Barely visible Myzocallis asclepiadis aphids in various life-stages

cling to the bottoms of milkweed leaves that I glean to clean

and feed to the season’s last monarch caterpillars.

All summer these underleaf-feeding aphids have been dropping what ecologist Anurag Agrawal calls “honeydew” excrement for ants and maybe others to eat on the leaftops below (a process just beyond the discretion & ability of this camera — so we’ll take his word for it).

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