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Species Lygaeus kalmii - Small Milkweed Bug

Lygaeus sp. - Lygaeus kalmii Small Milkweed Bug for WA - Lygaeus kalmii Lygaeus kalmii Stål - Lygaeus kalmii Orange and black Boxelder-looking Bug - Lygaeus kalmii VA Milkweed bug - Lygaeus kalmii Copper and black bug - Lygaeus kalmii Unknown bug (Lygaeus kalmii?) - Lygaeus kalmii Small Milkweed Bug? - Lygaeus kalmii
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 kalmii (Small Milkweed Bug)
Other Common Names
Common Milkweed Bug
Explanation of Names
Lygaeus kalmii Stål 1874
10-12 mm
Adult: dark gray to black with broad orange or red band on forewing, forming an "X" shape that doesn't quite meet in the middle; head black with dull red spot on top, sometimes extending down onto face; pronotum with red transverse band, bordered anteriorly by two black spots, and posteriorly by two black semicircular lobes; membranous portion of forewing in eastern specimens all black, in western specimens with large white spots and white posterior margin

Nymph: abdomen all red in young nymphs, developing black spots with age; wingpads black, lengthening with age; pronotum red with two black diagonal markings
Typical nymph:, occasionally:
throughout US & so. Canada
Fields, meadows containing milkweed and other flowers
Adults suck nectar from flowers of various herbaceous plants, and also feed on milkweed seeds(?). Also reported to be scavengers and predators, especially in spring when milkweed seeds are scarce. They have been reported feeding on honey bees, monarch caterpillars and pupae, and dogbane beetles, among others. (Root 1986)
examples of scavenging
Life Cycle
Eggs are laid on milkweed in spring. One or more generations per year. Adults overwinter.
See Also
Print References
Internet References
Works Cited
1.How to Know the True Bugs
Slater, James A., and Baranowski, Richard M. 1978. Wm. C. Brown Company.
2.Insects in Kansas
Glenn A. Salsbury and Stephan C. White. 2000. Kansas Dept. of Agriculture.