More Nature Study with the Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn 2011 .
|Go here for more info on Monarch Caterpillars|
Milkweed Bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus) all over. They were not sure about being photographed. It took several "sneak attacks" to catch them before they scooted to the other side of a pod or simply dropped off into the weeds. BugGuide.net had these interesting remarks about the bugs:
" Eggs are laid in milkweed seed pods or in crevices between pods. About 30 eggs are laid a day, and about 2,000 over a female's lifespan. In the course of feeding, these bugs accumulate toxins from the milkweed, which can potentially sicken any predators foolish enough to ignore the bright colors which warn of their toxicity."
We experimented with spreading the stuff on our fingers and, sure enough, it dried into a rubbery film that would NOT wash off. A little research on the origins of rubber would be a logical next step. And when tasted, there's no wondering why caterpillars full of it would be noxious to birds!
|Mei added drawings of the pod and seed balloon to her notebook page.|