Friday, April 9, 2010

Road Photo Friday: Milkweed Bugs

This somewhat bizzare photo was taken after one of my kids pointed it out to me during a dove hunt last fall.  Since spring is finally springing around here, it seemed appropriate to include it this week.

The plant is known as milkweed, a fairly common species throughout the United States.  What I'd never seen before however were the colony of bugs glomming onto this particular milkweed pod.  Thinking it'd make for a nice image, I snapped a photo, and promptly forgot about it until recently.

Turns out, after a bit of armchair research, those bugs are milkweed bugs.  They're one of the few critters that enjoy the taste of sticky, sappy, milkweed goo.  And, as the old adage goes, you are what you eat -- the bugs reflect the taste of milkweed (ever wonder who tests these things?).  Anyhow, their bright orange and black coloring warns potential predators that they're not fit for a meal.

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