Most of the time, aphids reproduce asexually by cloning themselves. A female will develop embryos in a neat line within her ovaries, and these embryos will also contain developing embryos inside them—"like Russian dolls," according to scientist David Stern. The mother will give live birth to these offspring. In the autumn, however, she might opt to mate with males and lay eggs that contain genetically different offspring.
Amazing! Aphid cloning - Battle of the Animal Sexes - BBC Wildlife
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Key Facts In This Video
Female aphids can reproduce asexually by cloning themselves. 00:24
Male aphids aren't involved in the aphids' reproductive cycle until autumn. 01:48
By mating with males, female aphids can inject variety into their genetic line. 03:06