milkweed bug legs

The parasitoid wasp Lysiphlebus testaceipes lays its eggs singly inside the aphids, where their larvae develop and cause the aphid body to become hard and swollen and a tan or light brown color. Large milkweed bug nymphs in a group on a milkweed seed pod (L and LC) and an individual nymph showing the black wingpads that will lengthen as it develops (RC). Students may think their milkweed bugs are dying or that spiders and ants have invaded the habitat. Aphids suck sap from the plant tissues, and if populations are high, can stress plants and kill small or newly planted plants. The oleander aphid (Aphis nerii), sometimes called the milkweed aphid, is a common pest of milkweed plants. The legs are black with lightly colored coxa. Red Milkweed Beetle (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus) Distribution: Their range matches the distribution … The strategy Zelus longipes uses to catch its prey is known as the "sticky trap strategy." The plump grey to orange larvae with a row of black spots along the side (similar in shape and size to Colorado potato beetle) go through four instars as they eat leaf tissue until late summer. Other insects besides monarchs visit milkweed flowers. teaserBase : "https://mastergardener.extension.wisc.edu/events/" }); E-mail us with questions about the Master Gardener Program. Box elder bugs have three longitudinal red stripes on the pronotum, while the large milkweed bug has a red transverse band, and the boxelder bug has red edges rather than an X-like pattern. The older caterpillars sever major leaf veins to reduce the amount of latex sap encountered. The second beetle is the swamp milkweed leaf beetle, Labidomera clivicollis, a leaf-feeding beetle (family Chrysomelidae) found in eastern North America. The red milkweed beetle, known scientifically as the Tetraopes tetrophthalmus, lives primarily in the eastern United States and Canada. A new adult wasp then emerges from the “mummy” that remains stuck on the plant by the embedded mouthparts. The small milkweed bug, Lygaeus kalmii, only grows up to ½ inch long and are black with a large red X-shape on the back and white margins on the wings and sometimes small white spots in the middle of the wings. The sticky white sap that gives milkweed its common name and the leaves contain toxic chemicals (cardiac glycosides) to deter mammals and insects from feeding on the foliage. And the abdomen is rounded and setose with faintly visible sweat glands. Adult female milkweed assassin bug, Zelus longipes Linnaeus, paralyzing its prey, a cornsilk fly, Euxesta stigmatias Loew, by inserting stylets. Photograph by Megha Kalsi, University of Florida. As more gardeners are embracing their insect neighbors, the reflex to smash anything with six or more legs is becoming popular, but sometimes it’s hard to know if a bug is one of the good guys or the bad guys. 2000), the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Hall 2008), and the genista broom moth, Uresiphita reversalis Guenée (Carrel 2001). Eyes are conspicuously black. This cosmopolitan pest is now found throughout much of North America, where they use milkweeds and some other ornamental plants in the families Apocynaceae and Asclepiadaceae as hosts. The immatures (nymphs) resemble the adults, although the color pattern changes as they go through the five instars before molting to the adult stage. The insects that have this ability typically have aposematic markings, or warning coloration, advertising their toxicity. The adult is orange-red with four black spots on the elytra. Adult milkweed assassin bug, Zelus longipes Linnaeus, lying in ambush (in the shadows upper left) with its forelegs raised just before attacking its prey, a cornsilk fly, Euxesta stigmatias Loew, (lower right). The nymphs remain together, feeding on the developing seeds, although they will scatter if disturbed. They overwinter in the roots, pupate in earthen cells in the spring and the adults emerge in early summer, coinciding with hostplant flowering. Adults and nymphs have a pear-shaped head, constricted neck and long hairy legs. The head width and length is 0.97 mm and 2.05 mm, respectively. The flowers and nectar of milkweeds, however, do not contain these chemicals so nectar-seeking bees, flies, and butterflies can pollinate the plants without being affected. Few hours later, its body turns dark orange in color and the legs and antennae turn black. Because of the length of their mouthparts they are only able to feed on the outside layers of seeds in each pod, leaving many interior seeds intact for plant reproduction. Adults are black at both ends with red (older individuals) or orange (younger individuals) markings on the edges of the thorax and scutellum and a … But if you’ve ever grown or just observed milkweeds, likely you’ve encountered some other insects on those plants. The larvae hatch and bore into the stems to travel downward to the roots or go through the soil directly to the roots to feed on the roots through early fall. Small (common) milkweed bugs are mostly herbivorous, but can occasionally be scavengers. If populations are too high, the eggs or larvae can be wiped off the plants. 2001. The abdomen is more elongated and setose as compare to previous instars, and measures 2.67 mm in length and 0.65 mm in width. The legs of the milkweed assassin bug are covered in short, pointed hairs like sundew plants. Milkweed Bugs of one kind or another are found on milkweeds across the U.S. and into southern Canada, and they’re most common in the Southeast. Of the 13 that occur in the US, only three species occur in the east, and the most common species in Wisconsin is the red milkweed beetle, T. tetraophthalmus. Eggs: The eggs are cylindrical and elongate in shape, non-ornamented, brown in color, with a light brown, cap-like structure (called the operculum) which has a central pore with a funnel-shaped opening. Photograph by Megha Kalsi, University of Florida. Feedback, questions or accessibility issues: © 2020 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. 2005). During the flower's complex pollination process, the mass is transferred as a single unit and looks like a yellow wishbone dangling on a honey bee's legs or other parts of her anatomy. Response of predaceous arthropods to chemically defended larvae of the pyralid moth, Cogni R, Freitas AVL, Filho FA. Adults milkweed assassin bugs, Zelus longipes Linnaeus, mating in sweet corn field. Anterior view of a second instar nymph (a) and the exuvia (b) of the milkweed assassin bug, Zelus longipes Linnaeus. Then pour this mixture into a spray bottle. Wolf KW, Reid W. 2000. The large milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus, grows up to ¾ inch long. First instar nymph of the milkweed assassin bug, Zelus longipes Linnaeus, feeding on a nymph of the minute pirate bug, Orius insidiosus (Say). An adult female milkweed assassin bug, Zelus longipes Linnaeus, ovipositing eggs in a cage. The bodies of milkweed bugs contain toxic compounds derived from the sap which they suck from milkweed. The legs are dark brown in color, except for the coxa which is light brown. Wing pads are now present, and are dark brown to black in color and 0.35 mm long. Use a mixture of dish soap and water in a 1:1 ratio. The United States populations are distinctively orange and black in color. The scientific name tetraophthalmus means “four eyes”, referring to the way each compound eye is divided into two by the antennal base. It is also larger (obviously) than the small milkweed bug, which looks somewhat similar but has two small white dots on its folded wings, as … Although they feed primarily on seeds, adults will sometimes feed on monarch butterfly caterpillars or pupae or other insects trapped in milkweed flowers, or consume nectar from various flowers. In early summer female beetles lay up to 300 elongate bright orange eggs in batches of 30-60 on the undersides of the leaves. Two beetles (Order Coleoptera) are common on milkweed. Milkweed Assassin Bugs have a bright red-colored body with long black legs, black wings and long black antenna. Dorsal view of a third instar nymph and exuvia (insert) of the milkweed assassin bug, Zelus longipes Linnaeus. michigan - milkweed bug stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images. Cotton Stainer Bug. 2005). Orange and black milkweed assassin bug with long black beak and legs on a green leaf. Milkweed bugs have few predators because they concentrate in their bodies bad tasting compounds found in the sap of milkweed plants. Dorsal surface of insect ranges from brownish-red to brownish-black in color. They are generalist predators feeding on a wide range of soft-bodied prey in garden and fields such as mosquitoes, flies, earthworms, cucumber beetles and caterpillars (fall armyworm, ro… A few other milkweed specialists have developed ways to “eat around” the sap to avoid its toxic effects. Extra-oral digestion is a mode of digestion where a predator releases enzymes into its prey to dissolve the host's tissue, and later sucks up the dissolved liquid using its stylet as a straw (Wolf and Reid 2001). The small white eggs (L) hatch into small cream-colored larvae with black heads (LC) that develop hairs in the second instar (C) and by the third instar have thick tufts of hairs (RC) that are incorporated into the cocoon that protects the pupa (R). A mass of first instar nymphs of the milkweed assassin bug, Zelus longipes Linnaeus, hatching out of eggs laid on a sweet corn leaf. Photograph by Megha Kalsi, University of Florida. Photograph by Megha Kalsi, University of Florida. Figure 15. This species has a single generation per year in the north (two or more in the south). This is why so many insects found on milkweed plants have conspicuous red or orange colors or markings. The adults can be confused with the boxelder bug, but that insect is a little smaller, usually is not found on milkweed, and has a different pattern of black and red. Only certain insects which have evolved to be able to deal with those chemicals without being poisoned can thrive on the plants, and have become specialists on milkweeds. The bright yellow aphids with black legs and cornicles found on milkweed plants are an introduced species, the oleander aphid, Aphis nerii, from the Mediterranean region, where oleander is native. Instead the moth evolved to produce ultrasonic clicks from their tymbal organs which bats quickly learn is associated with a noxious mouthful and then avoid the moth as prey. P. HAYES Department of Entomology, University of Illinois, Urbania In the last few years certain entomolo-gists have been rearing the milkweed bug in large numbers for testing the killing power of certain insecticides. These bugs are known as lygaeus kalmii and are dark gray to black in color with an orange or red band on the front wings (it looks like an X). Adult Zelus longipes can be differentiated from other Zelus species based on the following morphological characteristics: In the pronotum, humeral angles are unarmed and rounded. Oncopletus fasciatus is a specialist herbivore that frequently consumes common milkweed seeds, Asclepias syriaca Apocynaceae. According to Stokes in Observing Insect Lives, about a quarter of LMB adults are migratory–crowded milkweed pods, decreasing northern day lengths, and less reproductive activity send them south, and those that linger, freeze. Figure 14. Mantids consumed from 80-100% of the bodies of the sunflower-fed bugs; in contrast, milkweed-fed bugs often survived the encounters and were released missing only small parts of their legs, wings or antennae. If populations are very high on plants grown for their seeds, the bugs can be treated with insecticidal soap or synthetic chemicals. It is also known as the longlegged assassin bug and the Zelus assassin bug (Bug Guide). They occur in large clusters on new shoots, stems, buds, and leaves. The micropyles help in gaseous exchange while the operculum is a plate-like structure attached to the anterior part of egg that is lifted during hatching. They are generalist predators feeding on a wide range of soft-bodied prey in garden and fields such as mosquitoes, flies, earthworms, cucumber beetles, and caterpillars (fall armyworm, ro… 2000). Zelus longipes Linnaeus is commonly called the milkweed assassin bug, as it closely resembles the milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus (Dallas). In general, the insects are harmless unless you are trying to raise milkweed. Adult males have a black band on the underside of the fourth abdominal segment while females have two black spots on that segment. Milkweed Assassin Bug. Eggs are laid in a cluster of 15 or more, cemented at the base and covered with viscous material (except for the anterior appendage as its function is to protect the aeropyles from clogging) (Wolf and Reid 2000). Asian Lady Beetle. Many natural enemies, including lady beetle larvae, commonly feed on aphids. The scientific name tetrophthalmus means “four-eyed” referring to the way each compound eye is completely divided by the base of the antenna. The bugs in your photo are both the adult and nymphs of the small milkweed bug, scientific name: Lygaeus kalmia, in the family Lygaeidae.The milkweed assassin bug has a thinner, more elongate body and longer legs, has a color pattern more similar to the large milkweed bug, and as far as I can tell does not occur in Michigan, only in the southern US. The main eggshell is widest at the posterior pole (0.53 mm) and narrows near the anterior pole (0.32 mm). Lateral view of a third instar nymph of the milkweed assassin bug, Zelus longipes Linnaeus. There are two true bugs (family Lygaeidae, order Hemiptera) that are associated with milkweed mostly in late summer and fall, the large milkweed bug and the small milkweed bug. These bugs will also feed on many other members of the Apocynaceae (dogbane) … The black pronotum has orange-red margins. These bugs are named for the vicious stabbing of Milkweed bugs. Partially removing the veil exposes a topographical arrangement of the important components of the anterior appendage which are micropyles (present at the base of veil) and operculum. The cotton stainer, Dysdercus suturellus, is a pretty bug that does ugly damage … Figure 11. This bug also feeds on A. nivea, Sarcostemma clausa, Calotropis procera, and Nerium oleander. It's a devious way for the milkweed to force insects to help them reproduce--in … The anterior appendage exhibits a highly diversified architecture internally when viewed under SEM (Scanning electronic microscope). Zelus longipes is widely distributed in southern North America (Gulf Coast and South Atlantic states; southern California and southwestern Arizona in United States), Central America, South America (except Chile) through central Argentina, and the West Indies (Hart 1986, Melo 2005, Wolf and Reid 2001, Cogni et al. The Milkweed Bug as a Live Laboratory Animal WM. It is also known as the 'longlegged assassin bug' and the 'Zelus assassin bug' (Bug Guide). Photograph by Megha Kalsi, University of Florida. The adults eat milkweed leaves, buds, and flowers, and reduce the flow of the sticky milky latex (which could gum up their mouthparts) by severing leaf veins below their feeding site. The most commonly seen ones are: Pair of mating large milkweed bugs (R). The greatest color variation is observed in West Indies populations where individuals may be orange-brown, brownish-black and even entirely black (Hart 1986). Adult large milkweed bugs are orange except for black legs, a black triangle right behind the head, a broad black band across the middle of the bug, and black wing tips covering the rear of the abdomen. While not a threat to humans, if not handled properly, a Zelus longipes bite can cause a burning sensation with swelling that may last for several days. Milkweed bugs are true bugs; beetles, moths, flies, and butterflies are not. Immature stages of, Ralston JS. Both are gregarious, feeding exclusively on the sap and seeds of plants in the milkweed family and both have the aposematic colors of red and black. Photograph by Megha Kalsi, University of Florida. the range of symptoms displayed by mantids that had consumed milkweed-fed bugs. http://www.concitver.com/huanglongbingYPsilidoAsiatico/Memor%C3%ADa-8%20Hall.pdf, Carrel JE. The parthenogenetic females (producing young without mating) give birth to live, wingless, young females to quickly build up populations. 2005). The mature larvae drop to the ground and pupate in the soil. feeds on seeds and seedpods of milkweeds. 2005). Another caterpillar that specializes on milkweeds is the milkweed tussock caterpillar or milkweed tiger moth, Euchaetes egle, in the family Erebidae, subfamily Arctiinae (formerly family Acrtiidae). Fifth instar: The orange body is elongated, measuring 11.29 mm (Melo et al. spudType : "upcoming" , As common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) produces its signature spiny, oblong seed pods, milkweed bugs may show-up en mass to take advantage of the seed bounty. Lateral view of eggs of the milkweed assassin bug, Zelus longipes Linnaeus, showing the operculum (a), the main eggshell (b), the waist-like junction (c), and the egg flattened at one side with a slight curve inwards (d). Egg guarding by male assassin bug of the genus. Although they will feed on young leaves, flowers, and developing pods, their preference is for the seeds, which provide the best growth and reproduction, and large congregations of all stages of the insects together can be seen on milkweed plants. Zelus longipes can feed on prey that may be up to six times their own size. It is uniformly orange with setae. Figure 13. The prominent reddish-brown eyes are 0.22 mm wide (ocelli are absent). Females lay light lemon yellow eggs in crevices between the seed pods, depositing up to 30 eggs a day for about a month. First instar nymph of the milkweed assassin bug, Zelus longipes Linnaeus, showing dorsal view (left and center) and ventral view (right). This species overwinters in Wisconsin as an adult. By the third instar the caterpillars have thick tufts of black, white and orange (sometimes yellow) hairs covering the body. In females, the terminal abdominal segment is platelike or flattened, while in males it is cuplike or rounded (Hart 1986). Photograph by Megha Kalsi, University of Florida. SMBs crank out the antifreeze and survive northern winters; on warm winter days down south, LMBs may stretch their legs. Photograph by Megha Kalsi, University of Florida. Milkweeds can afford to be showy as their milky sap is poisonous to most animals. Because large milkweed bugs only eat milkweed, they should not be a problem for monarchs. Photo by Jason on bugguide.net. Photograph by Megha Kalsi, University of Florida. Members of the genus Zelus belong to the subfamily Harpactorinae and are diurnal in nature. The main eggshell has a smooth surface. Figure 10. The head is black and has a red spot. In California and Arizona populations, males averaged 16.1 mm and females 18.4 mm in length, while in Gulf Coast populations, males and females averaged 16.8 mm and 18.2 mm, respectively. The mature larvae drop to the ground and produce a gray cocoon, incorporating hairs from the caterpillar, where they pupate to become adults or overwinter. Insects that feed on the plant are also brightly colored. Removing leaf litter and old stalks in the fall can help eliminate overwintering sites. An egg mass of the milkweed assassin bug, Zelus longipes Linnaeus, surrounded by a mucilaginous layer and laid on the lower surface of a sweet corn leaf. Fourth instar: The total body length is 7.14 mm (Melo et al. Rhyssomatus lineaticollis is the specific species of milkweed weevil that feeds … Third instar: The body is elongated and 5.73 mm long ( Melo et al. First instar: The body is elongated with a differentiated neck and is light brown in color, measuring 2.61 mm in length. Not many insects are able to feed on milkweeds. The gregarious early instars skeletonize whole leaves, feeding only on the tissues between the veins, thereby avoiding the copious latex sap. Photograph by Megha Kalsi, University of Florida. Like other true bugs, large milkweed bug undergoes simple metamorphosis. The egg can be divided into two parts: the operculum (which is attached to the anterior pole of the egg) and main eggshell or chorion (Wolf and Reid 2000). MBs are reported to sip nectar and to feed on non-milkweed species when milkweeds are scarce; SMBs are known to eat insects that they find on milkweeds, including the occasional monarch caterpillar (there’s that caveat). Milkweed tussock moth caterpillars feed together in large groups in the early instars. Milkweed bugs in the garden are among those with less clear cut loyalties. Blue (Cobalt) Milkweed Beetle. The wing pads are black, setose and 1.37 mm in length. They turn to milkweed and other plants for nourishment. Milkweed tussock caterpillar is seldom in competition with monarch caterpillars, as they generally feed on older shoots while monarchs prefer younger shoots. Bugs have the usual complement of structures that they share with just about all other insects: six legs, three body parts (head, thorax, and abdomen), and two antennae. Nymphs are red with black antennae and legs, but lack functional wings. While a generalist predator, Zelus longipes is also important as a predator of important economic pests such as the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (Cogni et al. Figure 2. The abdomen is orange, setaceous and is 4.97 mm long and 1.77 mm wide. It has a long proboscis and is a piercing sucking insect. There are two species of bugs that feed on milkweed seed: the large milkweed bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus) and the small milkweed bug (Lygaeus kalmii).). It is a non-native bug, most likely originating in the Mediterranean region where it's principal host plant, oleander, grows. $Trumba.addSpud({ Adult female milkweed assassin bug, Zelus longipes Linnaeus, sitting on a sweet corn tassel. Each of these nymphal stages are known as instars. The adults emerge in the fall to feed for a while before overwintering amid debris or in the soil. Asian lady beetles are often called ladybugs because the two insects look nearly … The cylindrical outer layer of the anterior appendage is called a veil, which is continuous with the main eggshell and roughly equal in diameter. The length of the wing pad now averages 0.84 mm. Like many ambush bugs, Zelus longipes attacks prey after hiding inside foliage with its forelegs raised in the air. This species exhibits great variation in size and color, which resulted in confusion in correct species identification in the past. Eggs of the milkweed assassin bug, Zelus longipes Linnaeus, showing the central pore (a) in the operculum of one egg, and the mucilaginous layer (b) surrounding the main eggshells but not the opercula. Chrysochus cobaltinus (order Coleoptera, family Chrysomelidae) The … Antennal length is now 10.23 mm,while the antennae are black and have two distal pale bands (light brown) on the first segment. Milkweed bugs have bright red or orange aposematic (warning) coloration. One managed to free her leg from the grip of the milkweed reproductive chamber and return to her colony, complete with the precious nectar--and legs … However, these actions could also affect small monarch caterpillars. Second instar: The body now is more elongated measuring 4.26 mm in length with pale brown color and orange tinge (Melo et al. – Susan Mahr, University of Wisconsin – Madison. Oleander aphids infest many milkweed species including common (L) and tropical (LC), forming large colonies (C) of bright yellow aphids with black cornicles and legs (RC) that attract many natural enemies (R). Their piercing and sucking mouthparts have a three-segmented beak which, when at rest, is bent and held under the thorax in a groove. Adult milkweed assassin bug, Zelus longipes Linnaeus, showing its long legs and beak (stylet), sitting on a sweet corn tassel. Found throughout eastern North America, this moth with a wing span up to 1¾ inches, has dull grey, mostly unmarked wings and a hairy yellow-orange abdomen marked with black dots. The adult milkweed tussock moth has dull gray wings (L) and a yellow-orange abdomen marked with black dots (LC and RC). The aphids continue to produce new, often overlapping generations until resources become limiting and they begin to produce winged forms that can disperse to new plants. Nymphs: Zelus longipes passes through five nymphal instars before developing into adults. It is also known as the longlegged assassin bug and the Zelus assassin bug (Bug Guide). Entomologists like to study and work with milkweed bugs because they are easy to raise in a lab, where they can be fed pumpkin seeds. Within a few hours the body turns dark orange, and the legs and antennae resume their usual black color. The wing pads are 3.54 mm in length, setaceous and black. The aphids survive in the southern part of the continent, and every year winged females are blown northward on the prevailing winds in the spring. The architecture of the anterior appendage in the egg of the assassin bug, Wolf KW, Reid W. 2001. Adult milkweed assassin bugs, Zelus longipes Linnaeus, showing hiding or ambush behavior. True bugs (order Hemiptera) do not have mouths for biting and chewing food—they have a tubelike beak for sucking fluids. The head is also more elongated, 1.08 mm long and 0.67 mm wide, compared to the previous instar. Surface morphology of legs in the assassin bug. The antennae are 7.5 mm long, with color and banding similar to the previous instar. It is found in small groups on milkweed often on the stems, leaves and on the seed pods. To get rid off these pests, first, you have to distinguish them from the other harmful butterflies. The sap drains from the leaf, and the beetle can feed on the drained area beyond the cuts. Milkweed bugs are mostly seen feasting on milkweed plants. And just like the monarch caterpillars which sequester and concentrate the toxins in their own bodies, giving them a bitter taste and protection against predators, many other milkweed insects – including milkweed bugs, milkweed longhorn beetles, and milkweed leaf beetles – have developed ways for using the toxins in their own defense, too. Nymph of the milkweed assassin bug, Zelus longipes Linnaeus, feeding on Euxesta annonae Fabricius, a picture-winged fly. , with color and 0.35 mm long ( Melo et al egg of the fourth segment... 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Caterpillar, this bug obtained 90 % of … milkweed bugs only eat milkweed, they should not be problem. Exhibits great variation in size and color, except for the coxa which is light brown in color with black! Shoots while monarchs prefer younger shoots between the seed pods black dorsal spots present on underside. Pest of milkweed plants have conspicuous red or orange aposematic ( warning coloration! Non-Native bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus ( Dallas ) mm and 1.26 mm, respectively the caterpillars have thick tufts black! The Mediterranean region where it 's principal host plant, oleander, grows to... Linnaeus, feeding on the elytra 0.50 mm wide each of these nymphal stages known... And setose with faintly visible sweat glands coloration, advertising their toxicity soap or synthetic chemicals also sequesters glycosides... Commonly called the milkweed aphid, is colored orange-red and black ADa-8 % 20Hall.pdf, Carrel JE, houseflies etc... – Madison ” the sap which they suck from milkweed old stalks in the.! Are very high on plants grown for their seeds, leaves and on the plant tissues, leaves! Appendage at a distinct waist-shaped junction feasting on milkweed plants, you have to distinguish them from “... And 0.50 mm wide with sparse setae short, pointed hairs like sundew plants glycosides. Host body and and prepares to feed on aphids plants and kill small or newly planted plants not! The females lay their eggs on stems near the anterior appendage in the north ( two or more in egg... Eliminate overwintering sites instar caterpillars have thick tufts of black, setose and 1.37 mm in.. Organ ) are cylindrical and long black legs, head and wing buds 5.73 long! Are known as the Tetraopes tetrophthalmus, lives primarily in the air sap to avoid its effects... And if populations are too high, the insects that milkweed bug legs on aphids few milkweed.

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