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Lygaeus kalmii

Common Name: Small Milkweed Bug
Lygaeus kalmii
Lygaeus kalmii

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hemiptera
Family: Lygaeidae
Genus: Lygaeus
Species: Lygaeus kalmii

Conservation Status

Identifying Features

Small milkweed bugs are 3/4" long. They are black with an orange to red “X” pattern. They have an oval shaped body and 4 or 5 veins on the forewing.

Habitat & Range

The small milkweed bug is found throughout the US, Mexico, and Southern Canada. They live in fields with milkweed plants.


These insects feed off of milkweed, and can be found in large groups when feeding. They are poisonous, and their red coloring is a warning to predators.

Life Cycle

Small milkweed bug eggs are laid on milkweed plants in the spring. After hatchign, nymphs will molt five times before becoming full adults.

Featured image by James Dake


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