The defensive effects of ants against aphid predators have been well documented in the mutualistic relationship of aphids and their attending ants. However, it is not clear whether ant attendance has any direct effect on the aphids’ growth and reproduction. Through field experiments, this study evaluates the benefits and, in particular, the costs of ant attendance to aphid colonies, focusing on the drepanosiphid aphid Tuberculatus quercicola which is associated with the Daimyo oak, Quercus dentata, and which is always attended by the red wood ant Formica yessensis. Ant attendance was clearly beneficial to the aphid; the exclusion of ants led to a significant increase in the extinction rate of aphid colonies. However, MANOVA and randomized block ANOVA indicated that in colonies continuously attended by ants, aphids had significantly smaller body size and produced a smaller number of embryos than in colonies isolated from ants when they were reared under homogeneous host conditions free from natural enemies. Thus, ant attendance had a negative influence on the growth and reproduction of the aphids, even though it contributed to the greater longevity of the aphid colonies. We hypothesize that ant-attended aphids are under intense selective pressures that act against aphid clones which fail to attract many ants, so that aphids have developed an adaptive mechanism to allocate a larger fraction of resources to the honeydew when they are requested to do so by the ants in order to ensure the ants’ consistent visitation.