With patience, we have the final answer about the milkweed bugs.
Checking the plant, there are some newly-molted adults.
The new adults are lack the dark pigmentation. This one is adjusting its wings with its back feet.
As they darken more, it becomes clear that they are indeed small milkweed bugs, Lygaeus kalmii.
Having spent so much time watching them, they seem like old friends.
Now I will be on the look out for eggs!
Have you ever observed insects in nature over a period of weeks? What kind of insect was it?
You never know when you are going to find a new insect here in Arizona.
Glancing quickly, I thought the read and black bug below feeding on a desert milkweed flower was a large milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus.
But looking again, I realized it had two black bars across the center of the body, rather than one wide one.
This is an adult Oncopeltus cayensis. I don't think it has a common name. Check out the sucking mouthparts it is using to feed on the flower.
Have you ever found something new when you took a second look?
After writing my post on Wednesday about seed bugs, I sent it down to the Great Bug Guru and Swell Guy, Carl Olson, at the University of Arizona. Carl was nice enough to straighten me out on the scientific name of the bug in the photo. He also let me know that there is similar bug that he has been hearing a lot about here in Phoenix.
Here is a photo of the bug he's been getting calls about, Neacoryphus lateralis.
Carl was also nice enough to send me a photo of the small milkweed bug, Lygaeus kalmaii. This is the species that may also occur on milkweeds, and also has a white spot (actually a pair of white spots), on the back of its wing.
Small milkweed bug: