Can you tell why I had trouble finding a bug for Bug of the Week by looking at this brittlebush flower?
It is wet from the cold rain we had overnight.
Because of the downpour, I knew I’d have to go farther and look harder to find live critters today. I flipped some rocks.
I did find a spider. It is hiding beneath a sheet of silk.
Wait. What’s that bug on the right?
Ever seen one of these before?
Any idea what it might be?
Did you guess the identities of the milkweed insects from last week? Let’s check.
- The yellow-orange insects on the stem are aphids. More specifically, they are the oleander aphid, Aphis nerii. Hint: Aphids are the ones with two “tailpipes” or cornicles on the back.
2. The red and black one insect might be hard to tell from this angle, but it is a true bug. A little one with two white dots in the wing is a small milkweed bug, Lygaeus kalmii.
3. This one was tough because the photograph isn’t very close. It is an assassin bug, Zelus renardii. It is probably waiting for a bee or fly to capture.
4. I think everyone recognized the praying mantis. In this case, it is the Mediterranean mantis, Iris oratoria. (See previous post).
5. This one is tricky. Cirrelda correctly recognized it is a lady beetle.
6. The pale green oval at the end of the hairlike stalk is the egg of a lacewing. (Life cycle in previous post).
7. The cute striped caterpillar will turn into a monarch butterfly.
At this time of year, the butterfly will probably migrate farther north to lay its eggs on another milkweed plant.
We’re glad it stopped by.
The rush milkweed (also called desert milkweed) plants are in bloom.
Turns out the buds, flowers, and seed pods are a bounty of food for insects.
If you have been following Bug of the Week, you can probably recognize some of the seven insects that I found on the rush milkweed today.
- What are the yellow-orange insects?
2. How about this red and black one?
3. What is this insect? What do you think it’s waiting for?
4. Here’s another waiting insect. What is it?
5. This one is tricky. What do you think it is?
6. This is another tough one. We’ve already looked at the yellow orange insects. So, what is the pale green oval at the end of the hairlike stalk?
7. Finally, who is this striped cutie?
Milkweeds are home to some interesting insects. Do you have any milkweeds growing nearby?
Edit: The answers are now posted.