Insect? Identify

ZephAmp

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
530
Large milkweed bug, O. fasciatus.
They make excellent feeders if reared on a diet of sunflower seeds.
 

Sarcastro

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
308
I've never seen them before and found 10's of thousands of them while doing yard work,I thought they were cool looking.
 

cacoseraph

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
8,328
a note: i believe these are a poison defense thief... if they are feeding in nature they can extract toxins from their diet and use them as a quite effective chemical defense. if they are fed a controlled diet to avoid this toxin build up they should have virtually no inherent chemical defense
 

Introvertebrate

Arachnodemon
Joined
Dec 18, 2010
Messages
739
I was browsing another bug forum, and the feeder potential of milkweed bugs was discussed. The OP said that milkweed bugs are referred to as "the married man's cricket" because they don't look or smell as bad as crickets or roaches for the wives. He went on to say that milkweed bugs are popular in the reptile and frog community but they're almost completely invisible in the insect and arachnid world. If you feed milkweed bugs shelled sunflower seeds instead of milkweed, they lose their toxicity, much the way captive poison dart frogs cease to be poisonous.
 

spydrhunter1

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Messages
641
I wouldn't trust feeding them, even on sunflower seeds, theres a reason for the warning colors. Besides they have a stylet like all true bugs.
 

hydrophyte

Arachnoknight
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Messages
180
I should try to get a colony of those going. They are pretty common on milkweeds around here.
 

Introvertebrate

Arachnodemon
Joined
Dec 18, 2010
Messages
739
According to one source, "Raising this species in the lab has become so routinized that Oncopeltus fasciatus has become the standard lab animal for general entomological research." I don't know what would happen if milkweed bugs were still toxic. Would a predatory bug eat them and die, or just reject them from the outset? As easy as milkweed bugs are to breed, you would think that more people would be using them as feeders.
 
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