Bug on my Gay Butterflies
Location: Central Texas
June 1, 2011 7:22 pm
I went out to water our flowers this evening and noticed these bugs on my Gay Butterflies. As you can see from the attached photo, there are plenty of them. I have not been able to identify them from my searches and would like to identify if they are harmful to our flowers or if they will be okay to leave alone. The bugs have 6 legs, 2 antlers/feelers, and what looks like two feelers or antlers on their back behind their back legs. We have a lot of lowers in the flower bed (26 to be exact) and the gay butterflies are the only thing that seems to attract these critters.
You definitely have Aphids, and we have never heard of a plant called a Gay Butterfly, but it appears to be a milkweed, which would be strong evidence that your Aphids are Milkweed Aphids, Aphis asclepiadis. They do match the images posted to BugGuide. Using pesticides may compromise the butterflies you are hoping will be attracted by the plant. We would suggest a strong spray of water from the hose to remove the Milkweed Aphids.