This time of year the milkweeds are starting to bloom or nearing this stage. It is an interesting time to view some of the specialist herbivores that can feed on the
poisonous milkweed and use the toxins to protect themselves from mainly avian predators.We are all familiar with the monarch butterfly that birds cannot normally eat,
but fewer folks recognize some other similarly protected insects such as the milkweed bugs and the red milkweed beetle which are all brightly colored to warn potential predators (see photo and web site below):
One amazing thing about this beetle which you might guess from its scientific name
( Tetraopes tetrophthalmus ) is that its eyes are split into two on both sides (four total)
by the base of the antennae!
Another amazing critter that lurks in our back yards.
Bill Dunson, Englewood, FL & Galax, VA