During the summer I frequently see red milkweed beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae: Tetraopes tetrophthalmus) feeding on milkweed plants (Asclepias sp., Asclepiadaceae). I came across this individual and many more while walking through the meadows of Side Cut Metropark near Maumee, Ohio. Here I saw the adults feeding exclusively on common milkweed (A. syriaca), but myself and others have also observed them on swamp milkweed (A. incarnata) (Farrell 1998). While the adults can also be found feeding on a few other plants, it’s thought that common milkweed is the sole host for this insect’s full life cycle (Farrell 1998).
Interestingly, the Greek names Tetraopes and tetrophtalmus both mean “four-eyed.” If you look closely, you can indeed see that this beetle has one pair of eyes above the base of the antennae, and one pair below. While many beetles in this family have notched eyes, some like this one have eyes that have become completely divided.
Farrell, B.D. 1998. The timing of insect/plant diversification: might Tetraopes (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and Asclepias (Asclepiadaceae) have co-evolved? Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 63: 553–577.