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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday #2.5 and 3

This Oncopeltus fasciatus (large milkweed bug) nymph was noticed on the side of our gate post, at least 40 feet from the nearest milkweed plant where all of its kin are congregated. OK, some person must have brushed against a plant and picked up the bug on their clothes, I figure; maybe it got brushed off somewhere near the gate and then began climbing the post. Since these young buggies are said to eat only milkweed seeds, what is the chance this young walker will find its way back home? Do nymphs have the sensory capacity to find milkweed plants from afar as the adults do? That would seem like a waste of resources since the chance of a nymph leaving the feeding zone is small, and the value of one nymph among so many is also small. I know they must recognize some scent: that is likely why the bugs aggregate in the same spot night after night.

The gold sun shape in these pictures is bondo wood filler spread on some holes in the gate post. Prosaic; but it looks cool in the photos.

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