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Milkweed Assassin Bug

Posted by kcclark z5b OH (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 1, 11 at 0:33

Had no clue these existed until Shady Oak posted a pic today of one eating a caterpillar. I'm glad they don't live this far north so I don't have to worry about them hanging out on my milkweed.

I'm guessing they got their name because they resemble milkweed bugs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Milkweed Assassin Bug


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Milkweed Assassin Bug

Informative post kc. I now realize that I do probably have them here on my milkweed, and I think that I was thinking I had Milkweed Beetles instead. Now that I am looking into the matter, I see that there is a "Large Milkweed Bug", a "Milkweed Beetle" and then this "Milkweed Assassin" which all have similar coloration and live on Milkweed. Of course, I guess the difference is that the Assassin is eating the caterpillars and the others are only eating the Milkweed. I'm going to be looking at my Milkweed more closely now.

Milkweed Beetle--http://www.cirrusimage.com/beetles_red_milkweed.htm

Here is a link that might be useful: Large Milkweed Bug


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RE: Milkweed Assassin Bug

Zoinks! I am glad we don't have those either! There are a lot of milkweed beetles this year and not as many milkweed bugs. Usually I see the bugs and very rarely the beetles. Dogbane beetles are my favorite. They are really pretty.

I have seen a lot of assassin bugs this year. I suspect that in addition to the bad weather, a large crop of insect predators and parasitoids are to blame for our lack of butterflies this year. We had so many butterflies last summer that it only stands to reason that we had a lot of predators and parasitoids this spring.

Sigh,
Elisabeth


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RE: Milkweed Assassin Bug

This particular insect is sometimes given the name "Milkweed Assassin bug" strictly because of its coloring. These guys have other nicknames, too. So, not to worry about them hanging around your milkweed, okay? That's not what they do.

Assassin bugs are generalists and will need to find their prey where ever and when ever they can. Look for this long-legged assassin bug where all kinds of other insects hang out. I've spotted them in the veggie garden.


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