I came across this convention of strikingly marked bugs inside a newly burst milkweed pod – near Austin, TX on 8/7/2004. Is this a species of Milkweed Bug? What is their attraction to the plant?
You have a great photo of Large Milkweed Bugs, Oncopeltus fasciatus. It is one of the best photos we have ever received since it shows a group on the food plant. You should consider submitting it to the Kaufman Focus Guide to Insects of North America. As true bugs, they use the sucking mouthparts to extract nourishment from maturing and mature seeds of milkweed. Sometimes adults sip nectar from the flowers of other plants.