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Homework Help: (Bio} Calculating Aphid Population

  1. Dec 17, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    In summer months, female aphids reproduce by parthenogenesis, giving birth to females from unfertilized eggs. These females mature within 24h and begin reproducing in the same way. Assume that each female aphid produced two females the day after she herself is born, and and then she dies.

    If there is a single female aphid on June 1, how many aphids would there be under ideal conditions by August 31?

    2. Relevant equations
    Not aware of any.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I am not really sure since there are no equations given in the book. Also, all I know is that there are 93 days during this period of time. But I don't know how to find the population.

    Could anyone please help? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2007 #2


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    You can think of this problem as exactly analogous to cell division. In cell division, the parent gives rise to two "daughter's", in this case, after 48 hours of incubation. You should be able to find a formula for that.

    48 hours = 24 hours from egg-laying to maturity + 24 hours later egg-laying begins
  4. Dec 29, 2007 #3


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    Another way to start, is by drawing a diagram of what is happening in your problem, and label your diagram with respect to time (days gone by). You can then develop your own formula by looking at your numbers after drawing several generations. You are developing a function f(t), where t is time.
    [Hint:how does time change in your question?].
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