Tuesday, November 16, 2010
This is an interesting study in bug identification. I used to think these were harlequin bugs. Because I knew there was such a thing, and I thought these looked somehow very harlequin-like. But then I learned that harlequin bugs were something else. So I went to some lengths to identify these based on their appearance. I tentatively determined they were box elder bugs. But they aren't. They're closely related, but I don't have box elder, and these guys live in and on the milkweed. I could have just googled "red black bug milkweed." Or not even googled "milkweed bug." My son just called them f*** bugs, because of their very pronounced reproductive drive. This happens to be the same sort of bug that's on the cover of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America.