Small Milkweed Bug
( Lygaeus kalmii )


2012-0407-01100112-HET02338-Lygaeus_kalmii[1131h01s,F,A,plant-flower]{JWaite}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Lygaeus kalmii
(Stål ,1874 )
Common Name:Small Milkweed Bug
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Paraneoptera
Order:Hemiptera
Suborder:Heteroptera
Family:Lygaeidae
Subfamily:Lygaeinae
Genus:Lygaeus
Taxon Code:HET02338
ITIS/TSN:107807

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Gardens at Lake Merritt, Lakeside Park, 666 Bellevue, Oakland
County:Alameda County
ECI Site#:CA01100110

RECOGNITION
Description
Adult: Dark gray to black with broad orange or red band on forewing, forming an "X" shape that does not quite meet in the middle. Head: Black with dull red spot on top, sometimes extending down onto face. Thorax: Pronotum with red transverse band, bordered anteriorly by two black spots, and posteriorly by two black semicircular lobes. Wings: Membranous portion of forewing in western specimens is black with large white spots and white posterior margin. Nymph: Abdomen all red in young nymphs, developing black spots with age; wingpads black, lengthening with age; pronotum red with two black diagonal markings.
Body Length
10-12 mm.

BIOLOGY
Food
Adults suck nectar from flowers of various herbaceous plants, and also feed on milkweed seeds. Also reported to be scavengers and predators, especially in spring when milkweed seeds are scarce. They have been reported feeding on honey bees, monarch caterpillars and pupae, and dogbane beetles, among others.
Habitat
Fields, meadows containing milkweed and other flowers.
Range
Widely distributed in the U.S., but rare in the southeast, Great Plains and Rocky Mountain states.
Active Period
Year-round in California, but from June through October in other areas.
Development
Eggs are laid on milkweed in spring. One or more generations per year. Adults overwinter.

CREDITS
Photographer
JohnWaite
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References
Species Lygaeus kalmii - Small Milkweed Bug. (bugguide.net/node/view/460). Accessed June 19, 2016. .
ITIS.


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