Milkweed Patch Mysteries and Insect Identification
I’ve discovered some weird and wondrous things searching for monarchs in our milkweed patch, but I’ve never come across anything resembling this U.M.O in our Minnesota garden.
These twin globes are securely attached to the bottom of this common milkweed leaf and look/feel like an accidental splattering of dried mud. However, their identical shapes and suction cup appendages suggest otherwise.
I honestly have no idea what these little brown globes could be, so I’ve assembled a short list. It needs a little work:
- mini-wasp nests
- clay pots for smurfs
- googly eyes
- insect eggs
- insect chrysalides
Many of you guessed that it was some sort of mud dauber or potter wasp. This is bad news for monarchs since the larva inside these domes feed on monarch caterpillars conveniently brought back to them by parents scouring milkweed leaves for monarch caterpillars.
To verify their identity, I opened up the globes:
While potter wasps are monarch predators, they are also beneficial pollinators in your butterfly garden. I welcome them as garden guests, but they’ll need to find a home outside of our milkweed patch!
Milkweed Mystery Bug 2
This odd looking fly was resting on the branches of our tweedia milkweed last spring:
This time I turned to a new resource for assistance:
In a matter of minutes, I learned this was just a rodent bot fly (Cuterebra fontinella) passing through…
What strange foreign eggs, objects, or insects have you found on your milkweed plants? Leave a comment below: