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Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle (3 stages) - Labidomera clivicollis

Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle (3 stages) - Labidomera clivicollis
Parkwood, Durham County, North Carolina, USA
August 24, 2004
Size: circa 4-10 mm
There were several of these on my cultivated Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata. It was difficult to photograph them on the swaying stems, and they drop if disturbed, so I placed a few on a leaf on the ground for a photo session. (They vomit an orange fluid if disturbed as well.) The largest individual was about as big as an adult, perhaps 9-11 mm in length.

Swamp milkweed beetle
Thanks for helping me identify the little guys who have been munching on my eggplant leaves. They range from about 1/8" to about 3/8". The larger ones are light gray --- smaller are darker. Larvae?
Westmoreland County, PA

Since they are host-specific
yours won't be milkweed beetles, but they could be Colorado potato beetele or false potato beetle larvae (potatoes and eggplants are closely related). False potato beetle larvae have a single row of spots like the milkweed beetles (info page here):

Colorado Potato beetle larvae have two rows of spots (info page here):

Very cool picture
reminds me of the evolutionary graphic with the caveman becoming modern man. Too bad they're not well-trained enough to be all pointing the same way...

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