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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wanderings of the Large Milkweed Bugs

I noticed these two oncopeltus fasciatus passing the time on Juan's aeonium outside my back door on March 3.  Of course I've observed the large milkweed bugs fraternizing and aggregating on aeonium arboreum before, and wondered why since aeonium is not even in the same family as milkweed which seeds are supposedly the only food for O. fasciatus.

Today I noticed this pair getting dangerously close to passing the time on a weedy passion vine leaf.  Interestingly, one of this pair has the same wing deformity as the one in the previous pair.  Same individual?

The milkweed itself has had a tough winter, and was mostly defoliated until recently.  There have been no sightings of large milkweed bug on milkweed since before I photographed this one in November on St. Catherine's lace, Eriogonum giganteum.  Seen here recently molted into an adult.

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