“I’m the king of the world.” This Red Milkweed Beetle (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus) is not exactly Leonardo DiCaprio, but it assumed his Titanic pose after it climbed to the tip of a milkweed plant this past weekend at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia.
I have been fascinated by Red Milkweed Beetles since I first encountered them several years ago when I first started getting into macro photography. They are bright and colorful and relatively easy to find—whenever I spot a milkweed plant I immediately begin to search for these little red bugs.
There is something almost cartoonish about the appearance of the Red Milkweed Beetle, as though an artist started with the shape of a horse’s head, added the horns of a longhorn bull, and then made it a really bold color to make it stand out.
For a fleeting moment, this little beetle is the king of the world.
© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.