Thursday, April 17, 2008


When is a brightly colored object camouflaged?
When it is on something bright of course.
(Click on the photo to get up close and personal)

Large Milkweed Bug
Oncopeltus fasciatus

On a Butterfly Milkweed
Asclepias tuberose ssp. Interior

The adults and larvae are found on milkweeds where they feed on the milkweed seeds, sometimes forming dense feeding aggregations on the seedpods. Their bright colors serve to warn potential predators of their bitter taste, which is a result of their diet.

Notice the orange y-shaped mark on the head which identifies and separates it from the Small Milkweed Bug.

Typically, you would find this bug on the other types of milkweeds.

The Butterfly Milkweed is the only milkweed that does not have the white milky sap.

I apologize to those with slow dial-ups, I had to use a large uncompressed jpg to keep the colors and definition.

Troy and Martha


photowannabe said...

Amazing camouflage on the bug. Great capture and sharp colors.

Marvin said...

Even with a 21kbps dial up I could not resist seen that photo full sized. It was well worth the wait. Great shot.

Doug Taron said...

Actually, this bug is not camouflaged. Like monarch butterflies, the milkweed bugs incorporate toxins from their host plants into their bodies. The bright colors advertise to potential predators that these bugs are toxic. This type of warning coloration is called aposematic coloring.

Super photo, by the way.

Carol said...

this photo is spectacular!... the details of the beetle jump out at you when you click to enlarge.... he's quite a handsome little guy....

i enjoyed.... thankyou

Kelly said...

I love your version of orange on orange! Very cool bug and beautiful capture!! When I enlarged it, the detail was spectacular...