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Red Milkweed Beetle

Tetraopes tetraophthalmus

Description:

The Cerambycidae, or longhorned beetles, get their common name from their antennae. Characteristic of this family is the antennae are inserted in close proximity to the eyes, so that most have an indentation of the eye. Tetraopes carries this to the extreme, so that the antennae actually split each eye in two, hence its name. Tetraopes is one of the few insects that can safely feed on milkweed. (Asclepias spp.) Others include the Monarch butterfly caterpillar and the milkweed leaf beetle, Labidomera clivicollis. "Plant chemical defenses can be eaten by herbivores, stored, and used in defense against predators. To be effective defensive agents, the sequestered chemicals cannot be metabolized into inactive products. Utilizing plant chemicals can be costly to herbivores because it often requires specialized handling, storage, and modification (Bowers 1992). This cost can be seen when plants that utilize plant chemicals are compared to those plants that do not in a situation where herbivores are excluded.

1 Species ID Suggestions

Red Milkweed Beetle
Tetraopes tetraophthalmus http://www.cirrusimage.com/beetles_red_milkweed.htm


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3 Comments

CourtneyVerk
CourtneyVerk 8 years ago

Now that I see it up close I probably will not hold the next one I see.

CourtneyVerk
CourtneyVerk 8 years ago

Thanks, YurianaMartínez!

YurianaMartínez
YurianaMartínez 8 years ago

love it!!

CourtneyVerk
Spotted by
CourtneyVerk

Belleville, Ontario, Canada

Spotted on Aug 5, 2012
Submitted on Aug 6, 2012

Reference

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