Subject: Yellow mites? Bugs? What are they?
Location: Northern IL – October
October 18, 2015 7:03 pm
While doing some fall cleanup today, I came across these interesting critters. We have a swamp milkweed plant in the yard (which has done a fine job attracting the butterflies – many monarchs this summer – yay!). I was cutting back the stalks of the milkweed and at the base of one of those stalks, I found this interesting collection of… something. At first I thought it was a fungus or mold, but then realized they had legs and were moving! They are a beautiful color – just wondering what they are? We are in northern Illinois.
Thanks for any help you can provide!
Signature: JP

Milkweed Aphids

Milkweed Aphids

Dear JP,
You have Milkweed Aphids,
Aphis nerii, and according to BugGuide it is:  “native to the Mediterranean, now cosmopolitan. Introduced along with its host plant, oleander. It has spread beyond the geographic distribution of this plant to the entire US and Canada.”  Aphids are not considered beneficial insects as they suck the juices from plants while feeding.

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Location: Illinois

3 Responses to Milkweed Aphids

  1. My 4-year-old spotted these on milkweed here in Maine. I would have never seen them but she has crazy eagle eyes…and the right height to see such things. 😀 Great to put a name to the “face.” 😉

  2. Will says:

    Anyone who enjoys gardening is most likely more than familiar with aphids of all kinds… they’re such a pain!

  3. Curious Girl says:

    Ah, I have pictures of these, on Oleander in Girne & Nicosia, Cyprus where I guess they kind of belong. I will have to find those pics.

    I also found the idea of another one of my mystery bugs (Neoscona adianta — from Cyprus too; beautiful spider, definitely one of my fave finds) thanks to the little “related posts” pics on a recent post that sent me down the correct ID road.

    Still love this site. :^)

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