Aphids may recharge their batteries as they sit in the sun.
A handful of animals live in symbiosis with photosynthetic microbes or plants, but none have been found that harness light directly. Now there are hints that aphids increase their production of ATP – the biological energy molecule – in response to light. While this doesn’t prove they photosynthesise, it is an intriguing hint that they might.
Carotenoids are common in algae and some bacteria and fungi, where they harvest light for photosynthesis. Aphids are the only insects known to have the genes to produce carotenoids; the molecules give them their colour. Learn more here, here or here.