Found these on my butterfly weed. Any clue as to their name? Are they beneficial?
(The white on them is spackling compound from the bucket I shook them into....)
CLOSED: Bug ID Needed
I thought that might be true, too, but ladybugs have white on their elytra (heads); these do not.
These are exactly what they eat: milkweed beetles. A couple of years ago they totally stripped my A. tuberosa and A. curassavica. If you look closely at the plant, you'll see the grub larvae all over it at various ages. It is NOT beneficial to your plant. They don't even acquire the toxins that Monarch butterflies do from the plant, so scientists believe that the orange is just a bluff to preditors to keep from being eaten.
They are very similar, but the markings a very different. I even did a google search and none thurned up similar markings.
Yours are too round, like lady bugs, to be milkweed critters.
These are a lot longer.
They are the same insect...the spots vary, as well as the color. The correct common names are Milkweed Leaf Beetle or Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle. Mine were more yellow, but the spots varied from the X to a big blotch on the back.
This one has markings like yours: http://www.biosurvey.ou.edu/okwild/misc/images/smbeetle2.jpg
Yep, you are right with those. They are Labidomera and look just like dstartz's alright. So, RED Milkweed Beetles are Tetraopes, just to confuse us.
I'm convinced! Labidomera clivicollis/ Milkweed Leaf Beetles they are.
Many thanks, Queen B!