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  • Milkweed Bug - (Oncopeltus fasciatus)

    Milkweed Bug - (Oncopeltus fasciatus)

    There are plenty of Milkweed Bugs to be found in the eastern states with a variety of looks at different life stages.

    Staff Writer (9/9/2014): Adult Milkweed Bugs do not seem to damage flowers, vegetable gardens or field crops, but they are usually found in large clusters, which sets off alarm in most people. They drink the nectar of various plants in addition to the milkweed plant.

    Adults may be seen in huge numbers on warm winter days. They overwinter, waiting for spring, and may be fooled by a suddenly warm day and venture out. This species lays bright red eggs that hatch in the spring. Nymphs start out a bright red with black antennae (seen in the photo with adults). As the nymphs mature, they begin to gain black spots and start turning orange. The medley of colors at the older nymph stage is quite lovely (see photo gallery).

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    Details of the:
    Milkweed Bug

    Category: True Bug
    Common name: Milkweed Bug
    Scientific Name: Oncopeltus fasciatus
    Other Names: Large Milkweed Bug

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hemiptera
          Family: Lygaeidae
           Genus: Oncopeltus
            Species: fasciatus

    Size (Adult, Length): 10mm to 15mm (0.39in to 0.59in)

    Identifying Colors: black; orange; red

    Additional Descriptors: flying, multicolored

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.