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Old 08-20-2009, 08:49 PM   #1
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beetle02 Milkweed Menagerie

Checked on the swamp milkweeds today, all kinds of critters out there. Some seed pods are already opening too. Yellow aphids everywhere!
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:55 PM   #2
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...and thngs that eat them. Not sure which lady beetle this is - I chased it around trying to get a good look, but it might be the first non-Asian Ladybeetle I've seen in this yard in five years. Or not... it was very small, match head sized.

The second picture is a lady beetle's pupa shell after it has been shed. The third IS an Asian lady beetle larva.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:05 PM   #3
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There were a few Monarch butterfly caterpillars. The first is an early instar, about half an inch.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:14 PM   #4
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Large Milkweed Bugs, Oncopeltus fasciatus. Adults eat milkweed seeds. Like the Monarchs, they absorb toxins from the plant so predators will avoid them.

Lots of rain lately, you can see mold on the plants. Maybe I should have thinned them out more.
What's on your milkweeds??
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:14 PM   #5
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I had punk rockers on my milkweed. I have some monarch cats too. Beautiful photos.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:26 PM   #6
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I haven't seen those yet this year, I'm surprised. There was a mess of 'em last year!
Here's Equil's punk rock caterpillars, in case anyone is wondering:

http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/for...html#post35580
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:40 AM   #7
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Way cool. My swamp milkweeds have aphids & lady bugs, and there are several mature monarchs that fly around & nectar on the various things blooming now, but I still haven't seen any cats of any kind on any of them. Maybe it's too soon. They're all first-year seedlings after all.
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:39 PM   #8
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I have a few young Monarch caterpillars just starting on my milkweed.

Those bright orange aphids everyone is seeing are one of the few aphids I can identify. Aphis nerii, Oleander Aphids. They use milkweed, oleander, and I believe a third plant that escapes my memory.
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:42 PM   #9
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Punk rockers! Too funny!
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:39 PM   #10
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More punk rockers on a different variety of milkweed. I had a real big monarch cat fattie on another variety of milkweed but when I went out he disappeared. He probably got eaten.
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