Insect Love: Large milkweed bugs

Mating large milkweed bugs (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae: Oncopeltus fasciatus) photographed 07/10/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

Large milkweed bugs (HemipteraLygaeidaeOncopeltus fasciatus) are often found on (surprise!) milkweed plants.  The individuals above were mating on the flower head of a swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata, Asclepiadaceae) in a southeast Michigan floodplain forest.

Mating large milkweed bugs (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae: Oncopeltus fasciatus) photographed 07/10/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

As members of the seed bug family (Lygaeidae), these bugs feed primarily on milkweed seeds.  Like monarch butterflies, these bugs ingest toxins from the milkweed plant that make them poisonous to would-be predators.  Also like monarchs, their bold color pattern serves as a warning of this toxicity.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Insect Love, Organism Interactions and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Insect Love: Large milkweed bugs

  1. Pingback: Random Plant: Swamp milkweed | The Life of Your Time

  2. Pingback: Plant-Insect Interaction: Oleander aphids on a swamp milkweed | The Life of Your Time

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