Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I Can't Get Enough of This Beetle!

 In the longhorn beetle family which I featured in my previous post, the Red Milkweed Beetle, Tetraopes basalis, is one of my favorite photo subjects.  The plant, Showy Milkweed, Asclepias speciosa, is the host.  When the beetles are eating or mating, they seem oblivious to my presence.  Before they began either of those activities, around a month ago, they would bend their antennae back like a cat guarding its territory, then fly away if they couldn't get me to back off.  Then, as if over night, they became engrossed in eating and breeding and became an easy photo subject.
 In this head-on view I got the camera to within 9 inches.  Below, I turned over a leaf and revealed what I think are eggs.  It's time to do my annual review of this beetle's life history.  I do know they spend the winter in the roots of the plant below the ground surface.  I guess that's redundant. :)
 I've never been bitten, although I think they're capable of it.  They do take good-sized chunks out of the leaves of the milkweed.

 An aerial shot against a bright blue sky - I was actually holding the blade of grass, and my picking it did not seem to bother the beetle.  I made a point of placing her on another blade of grass when I was done photographing.

I think I may have satisfied my beetle photography needs for this season - unless I encounter a new species.

No comments:

Post a Comment