Clones have been in the forefront of biological interest for many years. Even so, open discussions continue to surround the concept of clonality, which has been recently much debated in the scientific literature, both in terms of philosophical meaning as well as empirical determination. Philosophically, the clone is the horizontally produced lineage from a single fertlized egg (e.g. mammals by division of the fertilized egg and representing a single generation) or vertically produced offspring (e.g. aphids representing different successive generations) from a single asexual stem mother (originally for a particular lineage, following hatching of the overwintering sexual egg in the spring); empirically, the aspect of genetic fidelity is also considered important, so-called clones being assumed to have an identical genome among clone mates. In reality of course, such members of a clonal lineage must differ at various regions of the genome, since mutation is a fundamental property of the DNA itself. Yet few studies have so far set out to show this empirically in eukaryotic organisms, which indulge in periods of asexual reproduction, sometimes, as in aphids, over many generations. In the present study, we have investigated asexual lineages of the grain aphid, Sitobion avenae (F.), a global pest of cereals, over five successive generations employing AFLP-PCR molecular techniques. Our main interest was to see how much variation was present in the early generations and if this variation was transmitted through the asexual lineages. By monitoring AFLP-based polymorphisms, we show that, in this aphid species, of a total of 110 individuals from two lineages tested (termed SA and SB), random mutations (band deletions, more rarely additions) were apparent from the third generation onwards, and although some mutations were found to be transmitted transgenerationally, others were rarely transmitted through the particular lineages they were detected in. Using Arlequin v. 2.0, average gene diversity within the lineages was found to be 0.024 ± 0.013 and 0.031 ± 0.016 for SA and SB, respectively. It was also found from the rearing of the lineages that one lineage, SA, was more fecund than the other lineage, SB, over the five generations (N = 818 vs. N = 358 total stem mothers plus nymphs for the two lineages, respectively).