Below: a large milkweed bug in its natural habitat.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Milkweed seems to be one of the big happening places for the local insects, so when I spotted a few plants on my way home from work yesterday, I pulled over for a closer look. Mainly, I was hoping to find a monarch caterpillar, though I would have settled (with some trepidation), for a tarantula hawk, an immense black wasp which has a fondness for milkweed, though its main diet is. . .well, what it sounds like a tarantula hawk should eat. Whether I was too early or too late, or whether milkweed is just not "in" this year, there was little to see beyond the plant itself and a few languid representatives of Oncopeltus fasciatus. Oncopeltus fasciatus is a mouthful to say, and I have no idea what it means, but it is somewhat more original than "large milkweed bug" which is what they are in straightforward English.