Immature Giant Milkweed Bug from Florida

Subject: Red-Orange Bug Needs a Name
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
June 23, 2016 1:13 pm
Hello What’s That Bug!
Found a bunch of these little guys covering a tree at Yamato Scrub Natural Area in Boca Raton, Florida. The picture doesn’t do the bug justice – they are bright reddish-orange – really stand out in the woods! I’m not sure if this is a juvenile form or an adult form. I’m hoping you can give me a proper identification. As always, I enjoy your web site and appreciate the service you provide to us amateur naturalists!
Signature: Ann Mathews

Giant Milkweed Bug Nymph
Giant Milkweed Bug Nymph

Dear Ann,
This is an immature True Bug, and nymphs can often be very difficult to properly identify.  Most guide books only contain images of adult insects.  This Leaf Footed Bug in the family Coreidae is
Sephina gundlachii, also known as the Giant Milkweed Bug (not to be confused with the Large Milkweed Bug or the Small Milkweed Bug) and we identified it thanks to this image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, it feeds on climbing milkweed.  Only reported from Florida on BugGuide, this is only the second report we have received.  Perhaps you will be able to send us a nice image of a winged adult in the future.

Once again, What’s That Bug comes to the rescue and identifies an unknown creepy crawly for me. I’ll do my best to get a picture of an adult giant milkweed bug. If any of the photos look halfway decent I’ll be sure to send them your way. I always learn such interesting things every time I visit your web site. I can’t say that for too many web sites these days – so keep up the great work!
Ann Mathews
Palm Beach County
Department of Environmental Resources Management

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