Species of the Week: The Red Milkweed Beetle

Photo by Sarah Wray

This week’s #SpeciesOfTheWeek is the Red Milkweed Beetle (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus). This is a commonly sighted species at the park, particularly in the fields of milkweed plants near the Lally Homestead. Both its genus and species name mean “four eyes”, derived from the way that the socket of its antenna divides each compound eye into two, creating four eyes. Female Red Milkweed Beetles lay their eggs at the base of Common Milkweed stems. The larvae then burrow down to the roots where they feed until early fall. Overwintering within the root, they continue to feed in the spring before pupating and emerging a month later as adults. The adults eat the buds, leaves, and flowers, meaning their entire life cycle is dependent upon this one species of milkweed. Here at Murphys Point, these critters are quite commonly found in the milkweed field by the Lally Homestead – have you ever seen one?

This entry was posted in Friends of Murphys Point, Murphys Point, Murphys Point Provincial Park, Species of the Week. Bookmark the permalink.

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