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TaxonomyBrowse
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Species Lygaeus turcicus - False Milkweed Bug

Another one not on milkweed - Lygaeus turcicus Unknown bug - Lygaeus turcicus Oncopeltus fasciatus - Lygaeus turcicus False Milkweed Bug - Lygaeus turcicus Lygaeus kalmii - Lygaeus turcicus False Milkweed Bug - Lygaeus turcicus - male - female Lygaeus turcicus False milkweed bug - Lygaeus turcicus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Heteroptera (True Bugs)
Infraorder Pentatomomorpha
Superfamily Lygaeoidea
Family Lygaeidae (Seed Bugs)
Subfamily Lygaeinae
Genus Lygaeus
Species turcicus (False Milkweed Bug)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Author: Fabricius 1803
Identification
We're moving all these images to a new page based on the image from Ojibway cited below and the records from the North Carolina State University. Unfortunately we also found online images of the same creature listed as kalmii and images of kalmii listed as turcicus, so we can't be positive about this identification, but it will serve as a place holder till someone gets to the university to examine those specimens. But at least there does seem to be another valid species present in the US and it may be that this Ojibway reference has it correct! North Carolina has 14 specimens of turcicus and 128 of kalmii which seems to fit our distribution of images!
is what we are calling kalmii with large black heart shape on back and small red line on head.
is what we are calling turcicus with overlapping triangles on back and bright red T on head
We are not sure how to make sense of the nymphs.
Range
OK-NC-ME-SD, west to CA / adj Can (1)
Food
Seeds of false sunflower, Heliopsis helianthoides
Remarks
From what I can see, L. turcicus has a large Y-shaped reddish mark between the eyes that extends between the antennal bases and has an entirely dark elytral membrane without white edges or spots.
L. kalmii has a smaller reddish mark on head with pale margins of elytral membrane which may or may not have white spots.
The white markings seem to be more reliable than the reddish mark on the head.
References: (1), (2).
I think the species distinctions aren't that great and that a revision is probably needed (if it hasn't been done already).
Comment by Brad Barnd,

update: see (2) for key to species

Food plant seems to be false sunflower, Heliopsis helianthoides, rather than milkweeds.
Internet References
Journal of the N. Y. Entomological Society. On the Biology of foodplants of Lygaeus turcicus
Works Cited
1.Catalog of the Heteroptera, or True Bugs of Canada and the Continental United States
Thomas J. Henry, Richard C. Froeschner. 1988. Brill Academic Publishers.
2.A Genus Level Revision of Western Hemisphere Lygaeinae (Heteroptera: Lygaeidae) with Keys to Species
Alex Slater. 1992. University of Kansas Science Bulletin.