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Genus Tetraopes - Milkweed Longhorns

Red Milkweed Beetle - Tetraopes tetrophthalmus Longhorned beetle - Tetraopes tetrophthalmus Tetraopes sp. playing dead - Tetraopes melanurus - - Tetraopes Red Milkweed Beetle - Tetraopes tetrophthalmus Tetraopes - Tetraopes texanus Tetraopes texanus Beetle - Tetraopes tetrophthalmus
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
No Taxon (Series Cucujiformia)
Superfamily Chrysomeloidea (Long-horned and Leaf Beetles)
Family Cerambycidae (Long-horned Beetles)
Subfamily Lamiinae (Flat-Faced Longhorns)
Tribe Tetraopini
Genus Tetraopes (Milkweed Longhorns)
Other Common Names
Red Milkweed Beetle, Milkweed Borer
Explanation of Names
Tetraopes Dalman in Schönherr 1817
Greek tetra 'four' + ops 'eye' (each compound eye of the beetle is divided into two)
14-15 spp. in our area, 27 total(1)
Bright red to reddish orange with black spots longhorn beetles associated with milkweed (Asclepias species) or, in a few cases, related plants
Canada to Costa Rica; in our area, 3 spp. are eastern, the rest mostly western, with 7 restricted to sw. US(1)
Adults: Apr-Oct in TX (BG data)
Adults feed on leaves of milkweed (Asclepias); larvae feed externally on roots of host (root feeding is unique among Lamiinae). Each species (or subspecies) is associated with one or a few host species (an example of coevolution)(2)
Tetraopes species and their host plants, Asclepias
T. annulatus: A. sullivantii, A. subverticillata, A. speciosa
T. basalis: A. eriocarpa
T. discoideus: A. subverticillata, A. verticillata, A. curassavica
T. femoratus: A. speciosa, A. meadii
Tetraopes huetheri: A. verticillata
T. linsleyi: A. linaria
T. mandibularis: A. latifolia
T. melanurus: A. tuberosa
Tetraopes paracomes: Matelea quirosii
T. pilosus: A. arenaria, A. tuberosa
T. quinquemaculatus: A. amplexicaulis, A. hirtella
T. sublaevis: A. erosa
Tetraopes texanus: Asclepias hirtella, A. viridiflora, A. viridis
T. tetrophthalmus: A. syriaca
Life Cycle
One generation per year. Adults feed on milkweeds above ground. Larvae feed on roots.
Print References
Skillman F.W., Jr. (2007) A new species of Tetraopes Schoenherr (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Insecta Mundi 0008: 1-3 (Full text)
Internet References
North American Tetraopes spp. - Mike Quinn, 2009
Fact sheet - Colorado State U.(3)