Black Damsel Bugs: Sneaky & Predacious
I was looking for Monarch caterpillars this weekend on common milkweed when I spotted this Black Damsel Bug. A first sighting for me, it was in some low grass near the milkweed.
As with all insects in the Bug order Hemiptera, they have long mouthparts (proboscis) for piercing and sucking. The Milkweed Bug uses theirs primarily to suck plant juices, but many bugs are predators and use these mouthparts to kill their prey.
"This shiny short-winged, native bug occurs in meadows across the country, where it is said to feed mostly on a common introduced bug, the Meadow Plant Bug (family Miridae)." (Insects, Their Natural History and Diversity)
Many predatory bugs are considered beneficial insects for agricultural crops, they seek out and kill crop damaging bugs and caterpillars.
© Heather Holm, 2015. Heather Holm