Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Calendar
Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Photos from the 2010 Workshop in Grinnell, Iowa

Photos from the 2009 gathering in Washington

TaxonomyBrowseInfoImagesLinksBooksData
Photo#221471
Aphid-munching larva

Aphid-munching larva
Oak Ridge, Anderson County, Tennessee, USA
September 3, 2008
Size: 1 cm
My milkweed plants have not yielded the monarch caterpillars that I had hoped to see this year, but they have offered a variety of other interesting creatures. This evening I found this spiky larva munching on aphids. It quickly drained the fluids from the aphid, leaving just the white exoskeleton. I was amused to watch another aphid walking on it as it ate one of its relatives! Does anyone know what type of larva this is? I've seen syrphid fly larvae on the leaves, but they are smooth, not spiky like this one. They also eat aphids.

Moved

We would suggest rather
a syrphid fly larva. Here's a member of the Syrphidae - and a pageful here

 
Agreed.
I agree this is a syrphid larva. I really get a kick out of the one aphid that found the safest place on the leaf: riding atop the predator! LOL! One small step for aphid, one giant leap for evolution?:-)

 
Thanks Eric, John and Jane!
My milkweed has been a source of "entomological entertainment" this summer, despite not having any monarchs. There is always something interesting happening on the leaves, flowers, and pods. It would a fun project to document all the different insects that are found on milkweed for a year. I just wish I had more powerful macro photography capability.

I'm not sure about it being a ladybird larva
All the ladybird larvae I've seen have legs and three distinctive body parts, this larva doesn't. There are many different species of ladybirds on the milkweed, so maybe it is one I haven't seen before. Whatever it is, it sure has a voracious appetite! It ate 2 aphids as I was photographing it! I'll have to watch it and see if it pupates soon.

Maybe
one of the ladybirds. I know they are aphid eaters.

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.