Subject: Dogbane Leaf Beetle & Bug Love
Location: Sterling, Virginia
June 10, 2013 3:37 pm
Two pics I took on 6/9/13 in Claude Moore Park in Sterling, Virginia. They had a large milkweed patch in their butterfly garden, which was attracting a lot more bugs than just the butterflies! So the first is what I believe is a Dogbane Leaf Beetle, and the second is bug love from what I believe is 4-eyed milkweed beetles. (They were about 2 feet above a tiny but voracious praying mantis, so dangerous bug love at that!) Enjoy!
Signature: M Harmon
Dear M Harmon,
Do you appear on television? We have a tag on our site called Milkweed Meadow because we believe it is one of the most important native ecosystems wherever it is found. We also strongly feel that only native milkweed should be grown. Your eastern species are very different from our southern California ecosystems including Indian Milkweed, Aesclapias eriocarpa. Your mating beetles are Milkweed Longhorns, in the genus Tetraopes, which we suspect has something to do the number four and seeing. According to Bugguide: “Greek tetra ‘four’ + ops ‘eye’ (in this genus, each compound eye is separated in two).” We had not heard the common name Four Eyed Milkweed Beetle until you wrote in.
Your Dogbane Leaf Beetle is a wonderful addition to the diversity at your MIlkweed Meadow. We just returned from a holiday at the Ohio/Pennsylvania border and the milkweed is just beginning to show buds. Your submission is the first we posted upon our return. We wish you had sent the Preying Mantis photo as well, and we suspect it might not be native.
No, I’m not on TV, but thank you for the compliment! I just located seeds at an online catalog for native species, so we’ll be planting Asclepias syriaca as soon as they arrive. I got the common name “Four Eyed Milkweed Beetle” from this website:
And I’ve attached the praying mantis picture as well, enjoy! (We also saw either a Pearly or Beautiful Wood Nymph, but we didn’t get pics of that one unfortunately.)
Thanks again, and thanks for all the hard work you do for bug ID, it’s very much appreciated.
Thanks so much for sending the Preying Mantis photo. Someone with considerably more experience than we have would have to do the species identification.
M. Harmon responds
June 25, 2013
“We suspected Mark Harmon of CSI would not be writing to us.”
I am soooo tempted……allegedly (yeah, that and $1 gets you a bad cup of coffee) we’re very distantly related, it would be sooo fun to tease you by having him call you! 😉
“Thanks so much for sending the Preying Mantis photo. Someone with considerably more experience than we have would have to do the species identification.”
No worries, I’m glad you liked the pics, and thanks again for the work you do!
We are happy you have a sense of humor.