Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Growing up on antelope-horns

with 9 comments

Click for greater clarity.

And in contrast to the earlier stage shown in the last post, here’s what a large milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus, looks like when it’s all grown up. Would you have predicted this from the previous picture? I wouldn’t have.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 21, 2012 at 12:53 PM

9 Responses

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  1. Very pretty. They improve with age! I love the leaf in this photo.


    May 21, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    • Well said: they improve with age. Each antelope-horns milkweed leaf folds up along the midline, and sometimes the leaf as a whole curves rather than remaining straight.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 21, 2012 at 5:30 PM

  2. As adults, they’re really quite attractive. They remind me of box elder bugs. If you find more and have a little time on your hands, this article tells you how to distinguish a boy and girl milkweed bugs!


    May 21, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    • So you’re with Cathy in favoring the adult milkweed bug.

      I looked at the article you linked and I noticed that to tell the difference between male and female I’d have to turn a bug over to see its ventral side, which is normally not visible. One sentence in the article struck me as unintentionally comic: “Look for mating bugs to identify males and females—there will always be one of each in such pairings.” Gee, I didn’t know that.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 21, 2012 at 5:37 PM

  3. Hey, we’ve got milkweed bugs up here, too! Though not yet. Last summer I took a picture of two milkweed bugs mating (http://tinyurl.com/7xraymj). Actual conversation between my then-aged 9 nephew, myself, and his mother: “They’re mating,” says he. “Yep,” we agree. “How do they stay stuck together? Glue?” “Nope,” says his mother. End of conversation.


    May 21, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    • Thanks for the picture of the mating pair, Sarah. As hard as I looked, I couldn’t see any glue. How do they stay together?

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 21, 2012 at 5:38 PM

  4. […] milkweed. The colors visible on this visitor are similar to those of Oncopeltus fasciatus, the large milkweed bug that you’ve seen in the last two posts, but now we have a red admiral, Vanessa atalanta, a […]

  5. I have seen these bugs, but didn’t know what they are called. Good to finally know the name! They are very distinctive with the orange and black.


    May 23, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    • Yes, they are distinctive, and apparently pretty common, given the many kinds of milkweed we have all over the country. I’m glad you were able to put a name to something you’ve seen.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 23, 2012 at 10:40 PM

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