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Long Horned Milkweed Beetle

Tetraopes tetrophthalmus


The milkweed longhorn beetle is red with black dots, black antennae, and black legs. The antennae of the males are almost the same length as the body (12 to 15 mm).


This beetle is found in grasslands, meadows, and prairies. The female lays eggs on or near the milkweed plant.


The word beetle comes from the Middle English Betylle and Old English bitula, meaning "to bite." The species name tetrophthalmus is latin for four eyes. This refers to this beetle's having fully divided compound eyes.

Species ID Suggestions

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ArlenCooke 9 years ago

Looks like you nailed it Gordon. I cant remember what kind of plant it was hangin out on, some leafy desert plant. I found another picture of the back side of that guy and it looks exactly like the Long Horn Milkweed beetle.

Thanks! I'm going to update the info.

Dangermouse 9 years ago

I was just taking a guess with the size, colour and spots. Milkweed beetle is probably a better guess, though, but it's difficult with only the face to go off (even if it is a great photo!)

Ashish Nimkar
Ashish Nimkar 9 years ago

Gordon hope you verify horns style and colours as well as facial shape and colour match with Anomoea laticlavia
Earlier I thought it is Scarlet lily beetle.

Gordon Dietzman
Gordon Dietzman 9 years ago

My guess is that it is one of the Milkweed Longhorn beetles (Tetraopes). Not sure which one. As Dangermouse notes having a photo of the back would help a lot. Was it on a milkweed plant?
Can't help smiling at this photo! Nice, nice photo...grin.
Try looking at this page to start to narrowing your ID: and let us know what you think.

Ashish Nimkar
Ashish Nimkar 9 years ago

Close to Clay-colored Leaf Beetle (Anomoea laticlavia)

Dangermouse 9 years ago

I love the expression on the face! A great photo! As to the ID, I'm not sure. Do you have a photo of its back? It could be part of the Lygaeus family.

Spotted by

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Spotted on Aug 9, 2011
Submitted on Aug 9, 2011

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