Friday, August 05, 2022

Nature Friday: O Hai Again!

I love photographing long-horned beetles, but they are very shy and skittish, often resulting in this "O, Hai!" pose. You may have observed that many insects that use milkweed as a host, such as Monarchs and these beetles, are dressed in warning colors: red, yellow, black. This beetle eats milkweed and dogbane, both of which contain toxins that then make the beetle (and Monarchs) toxic for others to eat. The vivid colors are a warning to their predators and are called aposematic (toxic, warning) colors. In the photo below you can see the chewing mouth parts.

Red Milkweed Beetle (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus)

In the next photo you can see how the antennae are placed so low that they bisect the eye. 
The RMB’s scientific name, Tetraopes tetrophthalmus, is redundant; both the genus and the species name mean “four eyes” and refer to the way the socket of an antenna divides each compound eye in two, resulting in a lower eye and an upper eye.

from Red Milkweed Beetle (Family Cerambycidae)

One last amazing thing about these Red Milkweed beetles: they squeal in complaint if you pick them up, and they purr when you leave them alone!  

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  1. I've never seen one of those before and he would be hard to miss being red in color.

  2. WOW! These are truly one of the mist interesting bugs I've seen. Thanks so much for sharing them on Nature Friday!

    Also, thank you for sharing the Roadrunner Cam info!


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