Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Speaking of antelope-horns milkweed

with 27 comments

Milkweed Bug on Antelope Horns Milkweed Leaf 2134

Speaking of antelope-horns milkweed (Asclepias asperula), as I did last time when I showed a snail on one, let me add that I also noticed a typical quota of milkweed bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus) on the antelope-horns plants that I stopped to examine on the prairie in northeast Austin on April 22.

For a closer look at the milkweed bug, the better to see it staring back at you, click the excerpt below.

Milkweed Bug on Antelope Horns Milkweed Leaf 2134A

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 17, 2016 at 5:03 AM

27 Responses

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  1. Very attractive critter.


    May 17, 2016 at 5:23 AM

    • The pattern of orange and black is distinctive enough that this is one species of insect I recognize right away. If only that were true for more than a small fraction of the other insects I see.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 17, 2016 at 7:58 AM

  2. I have some transplanted milkweed in the edge of my garden. They don’t have these visitors yet. Nice close ups.

    Jim Ruebush

    May 17, 2016 at 6:38 AM

  3. The pattern and colours make it a good looking bug.


    May 17, 2016 at 7:48 AM

  4. I usually have a real aversion to bugs and must look away- but this one is a beauty!


    May 17, 2016 at 7:57 AM

  5. One of the more notable insects I notice walking around taking pictures. There were a mess of them around my mother’s front door this spring for some reason.

    Watching Seasons

    May 17, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    • You’re the first commenter who’s mentioned seeing one of these. I wonder why so many clustered around your mother’s front door this spring. Are you aware of any nearby milkweed plants?

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 17, 2016 at 8:39 AM

    • By the way, your first sentence lends itself to two interpretations:

      1) While I walk around taking pictures, I notice these insects.
      2) I notice that these insects take pictures as they walk around.

      Context and common sense rule out the second interpretation, at least until bugs get a lot smarter and cameras a lot smaller.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 17, 2016 at 8:57 AM

  6. It’s always fun to find something here that I already know and can identify in the field. I’ve seen plenty of these this year, and even have a couple of casual photos I took early on for identification purposes. You’re right — once you see these, there’s not much mistaking them.

    Your closeup amused me greatly. It makes me feel like joining Little Red Riding Hood in saying, “What big eyes you have!” But the iridescent teal is what I like best. It fancies the bug up quite a bit — it’s really beautiful.


    May 17, 2016 at 10:30 PM

    • How nice that you know this critter. If we’re pulling from fiction for its closeup, I’ll take Casablanca’s “Here’s looking at you, kid.” That iridescent region got to me, too.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 17, 2016 at 10:47 PM

  7. Who ever said that a bug can’t be pretty!


    May 17, 2016 at 10:35 PM

  8. Milkweed bugs and beetles are two of my favorites to find during the summer here. Fairly common but still attractive and interesting to watch. Your close up gives a good idea where the term “bug-eyed” comes from.

    Steve Gingold

    May 18, 2016 at 5:30 PM

    • Once again we see the disparity in latitude. You mention finding your milkweed insects in the summer, while here we’ve already had milkweed bugs for at least a month. You make a good point about the origin of the phrase bug-eyed, which I’d never though about.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 18, 2016 at 6:24 PM

  9. Very nice!

    Reed Andariese

    May 18, 2016 at 8:32 PM

  10. What a handsome bug 😄


    May 18, 2016 at 10:38 PM

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