Beetles – Welcome to a photographic journey through the fields, woods and marshes of New England
Find more of my photographs and information similar to that which I post in this blog in my book Naturally Curious, which is being published this fall.
MILKWEED LONGHORN BEETLE
Two milkweed longhorn (named after their long antennae) beetles were busy mating on the edge of a milkweed leaf this morning. Born last summer from eggs laid on the stem of a milkweed plant, the beetle larvae proceeded to feed on the plant’s stems and roots. When fall approached they burrowed into the ground where they spent the winter; after pupating this spring they emerged as adult beetles. Look for holes in the tips of milkweed leaves, left when these herbivorous insects feed. One of their more endearing features is the fact that when they are disturbed, milkweed longhorn beetles are capable of making a squeaking noise by rubbing rough spots on their thorax, or middle section, together. For information on just about anything you could find on a milkweed plant, including milkweed longhorn beetles, get yourself a copy of “Milkweed, Monarchs and More,” by Rea, Oberhauser and Quinn. It’s a gem of a field guide to insects and other invertebrates found in a milkweed patch.