Did you identify the insects we found on common milkweed?
A. The beetles are red milkweed beetles, Tetraopes tetrophthalmus. They are a type of longhorned beetle.
The bright red and black adults are easy to spot. They make a squeaking sound if they are captured.
The larvae are not as easy to find. They feed on the roots of milkweed plants under the soil.
B. This is a Baltimore checkerspot butterfly. Do you see the orange tips on its antennae?
The caterpillars are orange and black as well.
The Baltimore checkerspot larvae do not feed on milkweeds. They eat other wildflowers, like hairy beardtongue (Penstemon hirsutus), and English plantain (Plantago lanceolata).
Have you ever seen these insects?
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: