Thursday, July 26, 2012

And So It Goes….

July 14th, 2012. Some of the Maroon Carolina Milkvine (Matelea carolinensis) seed pods are ripening. And right on schedule, Large Milkweed bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus) have turned up out of nowhere to mate and lay eggs on the pods. The resulting young will feed on the seeds of milkweeds and milkvines.

A ripening Maroon Carolina Milkvine seed pod ripening; this species belongs to the spinypod milkvines.

A mating pair of Large Milkweed bugs.

Before long, the nymphs will emerge and will feed on the seeds

 A closer view of an individual nymph

The milkvine seeds. The ‘meat’ is the raised segment in the center of the seed.

The nymphs will eat the meat and leave a halo. One of the reasons the world isn’t over-run with milkweeds and milkvines.
Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources: 
- North American Insects and Spiders: Large Milkweed Bug - Oncopeltus fasciatus 

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Crystal said...

I love these pictures! Always intrigued by the milkweed plant and pods (and bugs) Thanks.I live in eastern Alabama I subscribe to your blog and really enjoy it. Keepa going!

JSK said...

Thanks Crystal. These plants have fascinating flowers and mechanisms of fertilization.
Since you leave in Alabama, have you seen Matelea alabamensis. I hope to get back to Alabama next year would love to see this matalea vine?