American Midlands Naturalist, 114: 13-18. Adult leaf beetle adults feed exclusively on milkweeds, mostly swamp milkweed but also common milkweed and possibly others, and on the invasive vine black swallowwort. Dear Fran, This is the larva of a Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle, Labidomera clivicollis, and we identified it on BugGuide based on this image. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 78: 603-608. The earlier a male emerges and the more mobile he is, the better mating success he enjoys. There are two types of Milkweed Bugs that love to hang out on the Milkweed plants: the Large Large Milkweed Bug and the Small Milkweed Bug. The large milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus, is colored orange-red and black.It has a long proboscis and is a piercing sucking insect. In fact it is the only host plant for monarch butterflies. The adult Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle stayed within one ten-stalk milkweed colony for at least the last three days of June, wandering from--and dining upon--one flower head after another. This is called complete metamorphosis. Adults and larvae of this gorgeous insect eat leaves of milkweeds. It is just one of about 2,000 species of leaf beetles in … Before noshing on a leaf, the beetles (both adult and larva) sever some of the leaf veins “upstream” of their meal site; this serves to divert some of the latex. They are not harmed by the toxin, but predators that feed on them are (a few tropical birds and rodents are able to eat Monarchs without harm—Mother Nature is always stirring the pot). Unlike some other parasites that may influence a host’s behavior, SMLBs seem unaffected by their mite load as long as the beetles are adequately nourished. Happily, Ms. SMLB tends to eat eggs not her own (Pre-emptive egg guarding? Animals that can feed on poisonous plants tend to be decorated by aposematic (warning) colors (except for “Rappaccini’s Daughter”). Both larval and adult female SMLBs dabble in egg cannibalism (males abstain). And, as seasoned BugFans recall, milkweed is poisonous. Both the brightly colored adults and larvae chew on the foliage of milkweeds, primarily swamp milkweed, although they have been recorded on common milkweed, butterflyweed ( A. tuberosa ), and a few other plants. One researcher suggested that SMLBs picked Swamp Milkweed because it often grows surrounded by water, which discourages predators from the ground—a beetle with a moat. Familiar family members are the Colorado Potato, the Cucumber, the Asparagus (OK, some of its relatives are up to no good), the Dogbane Leaf, and the Golden Tortoise beetles. Liriomyza asclepiadis is the specific species of leaf miner that feeds on … We all know that monarch larvae eat milkweed plants, but what about the other insects that share a … BugFan Mike ID’d a number of the DLLs pictured in the episode; the DLL reclining with its belly on the leaf is an alien DLL, Chronological Index to the Field Station Bulletin, Tettigoniidae, Two (Family Tettigoniidae). Fortunately, milkweed beetle removal is pretty easy. Too bad, they are pretty bugs but not prettier than monarchs! The monarchs that feat on this plant are orange and black. Cobalt milkweed beetle, (Chrysochus cobaltinus), member of the insect subfamily Eumolpinae of the leaf beetle family Chrysomelidae (order Coleoptera). Both feed on the seeds of the Milkweed plants. As in many longhorn beetles, the antennae are situated very near the eye–in the red milkweed beetle, this adaptation has been carried to an extreme: the antennal base actually bisects the eye. It is thought the beetle and its early instars derive a measure of protection from predators by incorporating toxins from the plant into their cell structures, thereby becoming distasteful, similar behaviour to the Monarch butterfly … The red milkweed beetle (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus) is a beetle in the family Cerambycidae.The binomial genus and species names are both derived from the Ancient Greek for "four eyes." The milkweed leaf beetle: orange and black. Fishing. As for the insect in the photo, that’s the “milkweed bug,” also known as Oncopeltus fasciatus. Male DLLs, unlike spiders, have a penis, and they mate face-to-face. Male SMLBs may produce more than 250,000 sperm; about 30,000 may be transferred during a 24 hour mating, and “mating associations” may last up to five days. (Look it up). The Milkweed Beetle is an herbivore. [1], There are a number of host plants associated with L. clivicollis: milkweeds, especially swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) and common milkweed (A. syriaca); swallow-wort (Cynanchum); twinevine (Funastrum). When feeding on milkweeds, they start by clipping the side veins off the leaves, draining the sticky, toxic sap that is the plant's defense against herbivores. Beetles first appeared in mid-summer and removed large slices of the leaves of my milkweed. P.S. This species has 4 larval stages, called instars. Milkweed beetles are voracious eaters and both the adults and larvae will chew their way through leaves, flowers, and buds. Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle, Labidomera clivicollis. The swamp milkweed leaf beetle (Labidomera clivicollis) is found on the various milkweeds it eats, often in grassy areas or on roadsides. The elytra are mottled with black patches throughout. The milkweed assassin bug: yep, orange and black. Labidomera can diapause only in the adult stage. Milkweed Leaf Miners. Its rubbery sap contains cardiac glycosides that, at the very least, make its imbibers throw up—unless they have, like the other milkweed grazers and a variety of herbivores that successfully feed on toxic plants, developed an adaptation that allows them to deal with the chemicals. Ms. SMLB mates promiscuously and for long durations. Insect-eating birds don’t know this, however, and the beetles successfully deter predation through their coloration. Palmer, J. In the lab, increasing day lengths induce breeding, shortening day lengths induces diapause. Species A-Z They damage the plants by chewing on the foliage, causing holes in the leaves. If your beetle infestation is significant, this can cause serious damage to the plant and may render it uninhabitable for the insects you’re trying to attract. 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