Posts Tagged ‘large milkweed bug’

Large Milkweed Bugs

You know it’s not been a good butterfly year

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if only 4 or 5 of them visit the butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa).

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I went outside in the afternoon and found four milkweed bugs on my small patch of the butterfly weed.

I took all these pictures between August 20 and September 18 last summer … and  am obviously late posting the blog. I’ll be surprised if I see any monarchs laying eggs or find any of their caterpillars.

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These young ones were the nymphs of large milkweed bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus). The dark spot in the upper right side of the seedpod was a hole where the nymphs entered to feed.

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The nymphs fed on the insides of the seeds in the seedpods.  Their size and pattern differentiated the ages.

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Lunch time. There were three seedpods on the common milkweed plant (Asclepias sryiaca).

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They continued growing. Then I went out one afternoon, and there was one that had just molted.

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I went out every fifteen minutes to watch the progress in this and the following two pictures. The faint wing colors surprised me.

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The wings continued to slowly darken. Notice how it used a hind leg to hold the wing in place as it dried.

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The wing still wasn’t quite dry.

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The few remaining milkweed bugs were gone in two or three days.

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The common milkweed is a perennial. This common milkweed is the same one as in the pictures above. Obviously, there have been no insect visitors so far this summer.

Butterflyweed

I don’t feel right not posting a blog about the butterflyweed  (Asclepias tuberosa) in my garden, even if it is past bloom.

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These pictures were taken between June 19 and July 6.

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Butterfly numbers have been much lower this summer.

 

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The butterflyweed would normally be a hub of activity.

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A large milkweed bug or two stayed among the flowers.

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The caterpillar numbers remained low too.

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Predators were present too.

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The hornet apparently found plenty of small insects to feed on.

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The butterflyweed was reduced to this by July 6.