round red and black beetle
Location: Northeast Illinois
May 29, 2011 9:32 pm
Hello. I saw this beetle on my butterfly weed at dusk. It was very shiny, round, highly domed, and larger than a normal ladybug – maybe half an inch across.
Can you ID it? Thanks!
WE are guessing that the plant you are calling “butterfly weed” is actually a species of Milkweed because this is a Swamp Milkweed Beetle, Labidomera clivicollis. The caterpillars of the Monarch Butterfly feed on Milkweed and the flowers attract numerous species of butterflies. Many of the insects that feed on milkweed have aposomatic warning coloration (black and red) as feeding on milkweed either makes them distasteful or possibly toxic to predators.