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  • Small Milkweed Bug - (Lygaeus kalmii)

    Small Milkweed Bug - (Lygaeus kalmii)

    The conspicuous coloring and sometimes groupings of the Small Milkweed Bug may cause alarm when sighted, but this ubiquitous insect is mostly innocuous.

    Staff Writer (7/5/2017): Small Milkweed Bugs are a type of Seed Bug whose larvae eat the seeds of milkweed. Milkweed contains a chemical that gets stored inside the young insect and helps prevent it from being eaten by small animals by making them sick or worse. Removing a segment of potential predators is a boon to survival. As adults, Small Milkweed Bugs travel away from the host plant and even the juvenile diet. Adults are not picky eaters. They will consume nectar, dead insects, bug eggs, and other plant seeds.

    It is common to see them in a variety of areas, from urban to rural. They are also found with friends on the same plant or nearby. Their similar coloring and pattern resemble that of Boxelder Bugs and Milkweed Bugs (regular sized). In warm regions, they are active year round. In colder climates, they are active from spring to autumn.

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    Details of the:
    Small Milkweed Bug

    Category: True Bug
    Common name: Small Milkweed Bug
    Scientific Name: Lygaeus kalmii

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hemiptera
          Family: Lygaeidae
           Genus: Lygaeus
            Species: kalmii

    Size (Adult, Length): 11mm to 12mm (0.43in to 0.47in)

    Identifying Colors: black, orange, white

    Additional Descriptors: spot, flying, heart, V, X, masses, group, cluster

    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.

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