Ingestion, excretion and respiration in aphids were studied using artificial diets labelled with radioactive sucrose or amino acids. The rate of ingestion of a 25 % w/v sucrose diet was 12.4 nl mg-1 h-1 and the honeydew excretion rate was 5.3 nl mg-1 h-1, about 43 % of the volume ingested during the same period. The concentration of sugars in the honeydew was equivalent to 0.53 mol l-1 sucrose and 69 % of the sucrose ingested was assimilated. The amino acid concentration of honeydew was 24.6 mmol l-1 and 94 % of the ingested amino acids were assimilated. Respiration was measured by collecting respired 14CO2 using a chamber which allowed the aphids to feed during the experiments on 14C-labelled artificial diets. While feeding on a 25 % w/v sucrose diet, sucrose was respired at the rate of 1.32x10(-6) mmol mg-1 h-1, equivalent to 0.354 µl O2 mg-1 h-1, which was 14.6 % of the rate of ingestion. There was no evidence that reducing the dietary sucrose concentration from 22 to 11 % w/v had any effect on the rate at which sucrose was respired. Amino acids were respired at a rate of 0.14x10(-6) mmol mg-1 h-1, which was 6.4 % of the rate of ingestion. Dietary sucrose was oxidised in preference to amino acids.

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