Currently viewing the tag: "Milkweed Meadow"

Subject:  Pink aphid like bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Date: 08/03/2019
Time: 10:15 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this guy at the top of my milkweed plant on August 2nd 2019. It’s beautiful. What is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Linda

Predatory Stink Bug nymph

Hi Linda,
Are you by chance growing milkweed to encourage Monarch butterflies?  If you are, you might want to consider relocating this beneficial Predatory Stink Bug nymph away from your milkweed as they have been documented feeding on Monarch Caterpillars.

That would explain why my monarch caterpillars keep disappearing. I have found 3 dead and about 10 just went missing. It’s been very disappointing.
Thanks for the info. I will move the bug to the front garden.
Thank you very much for the information.

Subject:  What type of fly is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Brantford, Ontario
Date: 07/26/2019
Time: 11:26 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello Bugman,
I am hoping that you can help me identify this fly. I was leaning toward a type of syrphid fly but could not find a match online. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
How you want your letter signed:  Dan

Signal Fly (left) and Red Milkweed Beetle

Dear Dan,
The image of the Fly with the Red Milkweed Beetle is an easier image for identifying purposes as it clearly shows the wing pattern on this Signal Fly in the genus
Rivellia which we determined thanks to images posted to BugGuide where it states the habitat is “on foliage, feces.”  We tried to determine if there is a relationship between Signal Flies and milkweed, and we located this BugGuide image and this BugGuide image and on The Pathless Wood we found an image and this information:  ” I did come across this interesting fly in my search, however, and later determined it is some sort of Signal Fly, a member of the Genus Rivellia. These flies are often difficult to identify from photographs alone; they are quite small, and identification depends on the presence or absence of tiny hairs called setae on the dorsal thorax, as well as the colour pattern of the wings and legs. They get their name from their patterned wings, which they tend to wave around as if signalling other individuals. I didn’t see this behaviour as this individual rested on an unopened milkweed blossom, so I was immediately taken with the unique pattern of its otherwise clear wings.”   So, for some reason, Signal Flies are attracted to milkweed, but we are not certain why.  Are there soybean fields nearby?  Your individual reminds us quite a bit of the Soybean Nodule Fly, Rivellia quadrifasciata, which is also pictured on BugGuide.

Mating Signal Flies

Hi Daniel,
Thank you for this information. There was a soybean field right next to this patch of milkweed so I think it may be safe to say Rivellia quadrifasciata is a match. I’ve seen other flies exhibit this behaviour of waving their wings around. Now I know where to start when trying to identify them.
Thanks again!

Subject:  Monarch Caterpillars
Geographic location of the bug:  West Los Angeles
Date: 06/22/2019
Time: 04:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
Thought you’d enjoy seeing these youngsters.  By the way, I’ve replaced all the tropical milkweed in my yard with native plants.
How you want your letter signed:  Jeff Bremer

Early Instar Monarch Caterpillars

That is awesome Jeff.  Can you tell us whether you planted seeds or plants? and provide us with your source for native milkweed?

I bought the plants through Monarch Watch:

Subject:  Red and black bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Fountain valley, ca
Date: 03/23/2019
Time: 03:32 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, Bugman!
I found three of these today on a milkweed (which I planted to attract monarchs). Two of them were mating. I live in Orange County, California, about five miles from the coast.  Any idea what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Jennifer

Large Milkweed Bug

Dear Jennifer,
This is a benign Large Milkweed Bug and it will not harm your milkweed plants.  According to BugGuide, they eat:  “Seeds of milkweed plants. They can be reared and fed other seeds such as sunflower, watermelon, cashew”

Subject:  Milkweed Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Central Florida
Date: 02/14/2019
Time: 12:04 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello Bugman!
While visiting friends in Rockledge, Florida, they showed me one of their milkweed plants that had many of these milkweed bugs on them. I haven’t, in the past, considered them to be harmful to milkweed, but would (roughly) 20 insects on one plant kill the it?
They are pesticide-free (unlike much of the rest of Florida ah-hem), so they’re either letting them be or picking them off. What advice can I give them?
Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Kenda

Large Milkweed Bug

Hi Kenda,
Large Milkweed Bugs will not harm the plant.  They do feed on seeds, so large numbers of Large Milkweed Bugs might reduce seed production, but again, they do not harm the milkweed plants.

Excellent news! Thanks for all you do, Daniel, to make the planet a better place!

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Milkweed
Date: 08/09/2018
Time: 07:46 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Thi dc is not a monarch caterpillar
How you want your letter signed:  Sue

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Sue,
Knowing the plant upon which an insect is found it is often extremely helpful for identification purposes, but not all insects are found on plants, so we don’t have a field for that purpose.  Milkweed is not a “Geographic location” and knowing if something was sighted in Pennsylvania or California or South Africa is also quite helpful, and every bug is found somewhere on the planet, which is why we have a Geographic location field on our submission form.  Having the Geographic location is also of assistance for persons scouring the internet for identification purposes, so we hope you will write back and provide an actual Geographic location so we don’t have to leave that field blank in our posting.  This is a Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar, one of the many species, like the Monarch caterpillar, that depends upon milkweed for survival.  We don’t understand what “Thi dc” means since we could not locate it in the dictionary.