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Shed exoskeletons found under a leaf with newly molted large milkweed bugs.
Sounds like one for my Christmas list!
Pretty much the only shed skins of insects you can find pictures of online are cicada shells, since they're so easy to recognize. There is a very good book that was recently released however: Tracks and Signs of Insects by Noah Charney and Charley Eiseman, which covers some exoskeleton stuff, and pretty much any other sign an insect can leave behind!
Thanks for your help Latimeria, I'll make the changes now!
Interestingly I can't find a photo of anything similar online - I did a search on milkweed bug nymphs when I first made the spotting.
Yep, it sure looks that way. The shed exoskeletons tend to shrivel up, so they're not always recognizable, especially if you haven't seen any like it before. But if you see insects that are lightly colored like these ones, it usually indicates that they have just molted.
So these are actually the sheds then? The completely different shape had me fooled! That makes sense, I did know the bugs in photo 2 were large milkweed bugs!
You had the correct order, but not the family. These are two newly molted large milkweed bugs, in the family Lygaeidae.
I've still not had any luck identifying these - has anyone got any ideas?
Spotted on Sep 14, 2011
Submitted on Sep 28, 2011