Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle – Idetification

Q: A friend gave me a milkweed plant that is supposed to be good for monarch butterflies. I’ve noticed an insect that I have never seen before eating the leaves. Do you know what this is?

A: It’s the larval form of swamp milkweed leaf beetle, Labidomera clivicollis.

Milkweed Leaf Beetle

More Milkweed Leaf Beetles

It’s not the same as red milkweed leaf beetle, Tetraopes tetrophthalamus.

Red Milkweed Leaf Beetle

Nor is it the same as milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus.

Milkweed Bug

Ugly though it is, this creature doesn’t do much harm unless the population builds rapidly.

Insecticidal soap (Click for sources) should kill them readily.

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