Subject: Red and black bug
Geographic location of the bug: Laguna Beach CA
Time: 01:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: These bugs are constantly on my milk weed Will they hurt the small monarch caterpillars?
How you want your letter signed: KathyG
This is a Large Milkweed Bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus, and it is part of the rich diversity of insects that are associated with milkweed. Large Milkweed Bugs will not harm your Monarch Caterpillars nor will they harm the plants, but they will reduce the number of viable seeds the plant produces because according to BugGuide: “Seeds of milkweed plants.” Like Monarchs, they benefit from the toxins produced by milkweed plants and like Monarchs, they sport aposomatic warning colors because according to BugGuide: “In the course of feeding these bugs accumulate toxins from the milkweed, which can potentially sicken any predators foolish enough to ignore the bright colors which warn of their toxicity.”