Milkweed bugs (again)

I went back to the swamp milkweed patch, and found the milkweed bugs all grown up, and multicolored:

Looks like they’ve eaten most of the seeds. Curious that they stay together like this. Most groups of gregarious caterpillars and insect nymphs disperse before they are full grown, not this species.


10 thoughts on “Milkweed bugs (again)

  1. Is this recent? I’ve seen this behavior before and wondered about their gregariousness too. It may just be timing, mine is from late October, as they produce young a few times per year. In my shot there is one larva with the other adults so possibly yours had just matured before going their separate ways.

    • The adults were taken 10/16, the nymphs were in a previous post, taken 9/25, in the same stand of swamp milkweed, but different pods. There were fewer bugs overall in October, but this bunch stuck together. I’ve only noticed them in fall.

  2. I’m wondering about the variation in color, from yellow to orange. Do they turn darker with age, or is the color range ‘just one of those things’? Here’s a tidbit I gleaned from the Missouri Botanical Garden site: “[Milkweed bugs] are used as research insects because they are easy to use in the laboratory, have a short life cycle and are easy to manipulate.” Who knew?

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