Friday, August 1, 2008

Small Milkweed Bugs: adults and a nymph

small nymphs together

"Your bug is actually a Small Milkweed Bug, Lygaeus kalmii, one of the Seed Bugs." The pair mating on the orange day lily were right next to these swamp milk weed pods in my garden. I decided to look my orange bugs up, yesterday after going out to the yard and finding more of them, not a couple more, a few dozen more in a small swarm. See the first image of them grouped together on the swamp milk weed pod. I shook them up a bit when I touched the pod they were on, to see if I could get a better picture and they began to flee. All the big ones were gone from the day before, or out of sight and in their place were these little guys. I was pretty happy to find out they are a bug that lives on milk weed. The website Whats that is a great gardeners resource. They answer questions about bugs and show pictures people like me send in for identifications.
The Internet also has an extensive bug guide that tells more details about this bug in particular. For the full story on the small milk weed bug go here>>>
The bottom line is that they feed on the seeds moisture of the milk weed. I don't know if it will kill the seeds or the plant but I kind of doubt one would kill your host at a banquet. Next bug report will be on something less buggy and more butterfly I think. 

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