The not-so-camouflaged, brilliant-and-chunky Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle (Labidomera clivicollis) is one of the BugLady’s favorite beetles. Unless you’re a milkweed plant farmer, milkweed bugs in the garden don’t require any type of control. 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. We had an outbreak earlier. There are 12 to 15 variously-marked species of beetles in the genus Tetraopes, the Milkweed Longhorns, north of the Rio Grande, but only three of those are Eastern. When the larvae have satiated themselves, they drop off the milkweed and pupate on the ground (“bailing” is also a common defense strategy used by many beetles). 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. Multiple eggs are laid under milkweed leaves; multiple larvae (grubs, to beetle fanciers) hatch out (more about that later) and feed together on milkweed leaves for a while before going their separate ways. Palmer, J. 1985. They damage the plants by chewing on the foliage, causing holes in the leaves. Phenology and dormancy in the milkweed leaf beetle, Labidomera clivicollis (Kirby). Adults also feed on milkweed, enjoying both the leaves and the flowers. This article discusses some fascinating facts about milkweed you probably didn't know, and the plant's unique relationship to many insects. Milkweed Bug Control. Both feed on the seeds of the Milkweed plants. In the lab, increasing day lengths induce breeding, shortening day lengths induces diapause. 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). SMLBs overwinter as adults, often nestled deep in the dead basal rosette of a nearby mullein plant. It has a black head and black pronotum. Life history consequences of body size variation in the milkweed leaf beetle, Labidomera clivicollis (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Wisconsin has about a dozen species of Harvestmen. Insect-eating birds don’t know this, however, and the beetles successfully deter predation through their coloration. 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. Despite their noxiousness, SMLB larvae are picked off of milkweed leaves by damsel bugs, stink bugs, and hover fly larvae (not, apparently, impressed by orange and black). Small Milkweed Bugs. We all know that monarch larvae eat milkweed plants, but what about the other insects that share a … The monarchs that feat on this plant are orange and black. The second beetle is the swamp milkweed leaf beetle, Labidomera clivicollis, a leaf-feeding beetle (family Chrysomelidae) found in eastern North America. Interestingly, about 15% of SMLB eggs are infertile, and these are commonly cannibalized (trophic egg-laying), which suggests that Mom puts out these infertile eggs to protect the fertile ones (but the BugLady’s not sure you can call it cannibalism if no one was home in the first place). The milkweed assassin bug: yep, orange and black. Naturally Curious is supported by donations. Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle, Labidomera clivicollis. What have they discovered about this flashy creature? Dear Fran, This is the larva of a Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle, Labidomera clivicollis, and we identified it on BugGuide based on this image. Milkweed Leaf Miners. The black spotting pattern of the Swamp Milkweed Beetle is highly variable, and some individuals have more black than others. Photo by: James Morgan. Call 1-800-392-1111 to report poaching and arson. The male who stays with her longest has the best chance of having his sperm outnumber/overwhelm the opposition’s from another mating. The voyeuristic DLLs may have been attracted by courtship pheromones. SMLBs entertain a subelytral mite (a mite that hangs out under the hard wing covers or elytra) and (the BugLady is treading very carefully here) the mite arrives as a kind of invertebrate STD. It occurs in the Western United States and British Columbia. A bright orange-red long-horned beetle with black spots. It overwinters in the soil in the larval stage feeding within the milkweed root. The swamp milkweed leaf beetle (Labidomera clivicollis) is found on the various milkweeds it eats, often in grassy areas or on roadsides. They do well in more developed areas, too, like backyards, roadsides, and parks that grow milkweed. In fact it is the only host plant for monarch butterflies. The elytra either have orange or yellow coloration, with dark blue to black splotches. , https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Milkweed_leaf_beetle&oldid=986353158, Taxa named by William Kirby (entomologist), Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 31 October 2020, at 09:32. As an adult, Labidomera clivicollis is 12 to 13 mm in length. Chrysochus cobaltinus, the cobalt milkweed beetle or blue milkweed beetle, is a member of the diverse family leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae). Cobalt milkweed beetle, (Chrysochus cobaltinus), member of the insect subfamily Eumolpinae of the leaf beetle family Chrysomelidae (order Coleoptera). This is called complete metamorphosis. The milkweed leaf beetle (Labidomera clivicollis) is a species of beetle from the family Chrysomelidae. Dear Lox, This sure looks like a Swamp Milkweed Beetle, Labidomera clivicollis. Aposematism again. Except that a male with a hefty mite load is more likely to try to interrupt a mating pair. The milkweed beetle is a beautiful dark cobalt blue in colour. 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. Even though they can consume milkweed sap without harm, SMLBs, like Dogbane Leaf Beetles of previous BOTW fame, have devised a way not to consume quite so much of it. They also feed on common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, and whorled, or horsetail milkweed, Asclepias verticillata, and … , 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). , L. clivicollis is a small, rounded beetle 8–11 mm in length. Fishing. The larva of L. clivicollis is bright orange, with a prominent row of black spiracles. 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. The milkweed leaf beetle (Labidomera clivicollis) is a species of beetle from the family Chrysomelidae. They’re generally considered a beneficial insect because their feeding activity can end the life cycle of milkweed plants. As for the insect in the photo, that’s the “milkweed bug,” also known as Oncopeltus fasciatus. Milkweed leaf beetles are distinctively marked, large orange and black, and are commonly called "swamp" milkweed beetles, after their preference for the swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata. the Milkweed Leaf beetle) anywhere east of the Rockies and into southern Canada where milkweed grows, and note that there is variation in shade and markings from one individual to the next. How do they survive the “not-so-camouflaged” part? On Jun 10, 2011, … The not-so-camouflaged, brilliant-and-chunky Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle ( Labidomera clivicollis) is one of the BugLady’s favorite beetles. The earlier a male emerges and the more mobile he is, the better mating success he enjoys. Milkweed Leaf Beetle larvae and adults do not absorb the cardiac glycosides in milkweed like a Monarch, so they have no toxic compounds in them and will not poison a predator. Too bad, they are pretty bugs but not prettier than monarchs! SMLBs move around the milkweed patch, leaving egg clutches as they go, and guarding none of them (other species in the genus do guard). Both larval and adult female SMLBs dabble in egg cannibalism (males abstain). 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. Larvae and adults cut several side-veins of a milkweed leaf prior to feeding, to reduce the sticky latex that would otherwise be produced at their feeding sites. As their name implies, SWLBs eat milkweed (they may prefer Swamp milkweed, but they’re found on other milkweeds as well). They pupate in the spring in earthen chambers and emerge as adults in early summer. 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. It turns out that the SMLB has caught the attention of scientists who have made a variety of observations/carried out a number of studies. A second member of this mimicry ring is a delightful insect called the milkweed leaf beetle, Labidomera clivicollis. Negative. Liriomyza asclepiadis is the specific species of leaf miner that feeds on … Familiar family members are the Colorado Potato, the Cucumber, the Asparagus … Adults overwinter in leaf litter and orange tubular eggs are laid on the underside of milkweed leaves in the spring. They look almost exactly the same, except for, you guessed it, one is smaller than the other. Look for the SMLB (a.k.a. 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 last instar burrows in the ground to pupate. It belongs in the huge Leaf Beetle family Chrysomelidae (more than 1,700 species north of Mexico), many of whom are named after the plants they specialize on. The mites are transmitted when the beetles copulate. They are sometimes called Milkweed Borers and Four-eyed beetles. In Central Texas, this beetle is active in the spring and fall due the the host plant growth as determined by the bimodal pattern of annual rainfall in the region . The orange and black bugs were likely swamp milkweed beetles. 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. 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. Milkweed beetles are voracious eaters and both the adults and larvae will chew their way through leaves, flowers, and buds. It has a black head and pronotum, but brightly coloured elytra; variable from dark orange to bright yellow. It is a close relative of, and a bit shorter than, the dogbane beetle, and it is Adult swamp milkweed leaf beetles can be nearly ½ inch long. Adults and larvae of this gorgeous insect eat leaves of milkweeds. The Milkweed Beetle is given this name because they are generally host specific to the milkweed plant (Asclepias), meaning that they live on and eat from it. It belongs in the huge Leaf Beetle family Chrysomelidae (more than 1,700 species north of Mexico), many of whom are named after the plants they specialize on. Animals that can feed on poisonous plants tend to be decorated by aposematic (warning) colors (except for “Rappaccini’s Daughter”). We're guessing thanks to the voracious appetites of it and numerous SMLB instars our Swamp Milkweed blossoms will be fewer again this year at Hilton Pond Center . (Look it up). Picking off the competition? The large milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus, is colored orange-red and black.It has a long proboscis and is a piercing sucking insect. Fortunately, milkweed beetle removal is pretty easy. ... 4th instar larvae will chew out a circular area in milkweed leaves, this helps reduce the amount of sticky sap that flows as the larva feeds: ... Milkweed Beetle - Feeding by this red and black beetle is characterized by a notching of the tips of the milkweed leaves. The red milkweed beetle, known scientifically as the Tetraopes tetrophthalmus, lives primarily in the eastern United States and Canada. The more eggs and larvae around, the more egg cannibalism occurs. As adults they feed on the leaves, buds, and flowers. The exact pattern of orange and … Happily, Ms. SMLB tends to eat eggs not her own (Pre-emptive egg guarding? BugGuide notes: “Part of the orange and black milkweed mimicry complex, which includes Monarch Butterfly, Red Milkweed Beetle, milkweed bugs, and at least one assassin bug. Milkweed plants have flowers that attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinators. The Milkweed Beetle is an herbivore. Part of the orange and black milkweed mimicry complex, which includes Monarch Butterfly, Red Milkweed Beetle, milkweed bugs, and an assassin bug. Palmer, J. Male DLLs, unlike spiders, have a penis, and they mate face-to-face. Milkweed leaf beetle (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus)-1/3-2/3" long. Ms. SMLB mates promiscuously and for long durations. Milkweed leaf beetles are relatives of other members of the chrysomelid clan, a large group of beetles that includes dogbane leaf beetles, Colorado potato beetles, and three-lined potato beetles we met in previous episodes. Leaf Damage: MONARCH FEEDING. Swamp milkweed leaf beetle feeding on tropical milkweed. It is just one of about 2,000 species of leaf beetles in … Species A-Z As the researcher concluded—“parasitized beetles compensate for loss of fitness by increasing reproductive effort.” Which is good news for the mites. American Midlands Naturalist, 114: 13-18. ), but her earlier offspring may feast on Mom’s later broods (siblicide). 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