Texas Beetle Information

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North American Tetraopes spp.

Milkweed Longhorn Beetles

Family Cerambycidae, Subfamily Lamiinae, Tribe Tetraopini

The cerambycid genus Tetraopes is the most diverse of the New World milkweed herbivores (Farrell 2001).

Twenty-four species of Tetraopes range from Guatemala to Canada
Fifteen species occur in the United States
Ten species occur in Texas

Photos of Tetraopes specimens curated in the TAMUIC

Tetraopes annulatus LeConte

Host: A. subverticillata (A. sullivantii (MO) and A. speciosa (AZ))

Range: Rockies, Plains (Alberta and Wisconsin south to Texas and Arizona)

Tetraopes basalis LeConte

Host: Asclepias eriocarpa

Range: California, Oregon

Tetraopes discoideus LeConte

Host: Asclepias subverticillata, A. verticillata

Range: Colorado to e. Kansas, Arizona to Texas, Mexico to Honduras

Tetraopes femoratus LeConte

Tetraopes femoratus LeConte - Tetraopes femoratus Tetraopes femoratus LeConte - Tetraopes femoratus

Host: Asclepias speciosa (also A. latifolia per Rice et al. 1985)

Range: Widely dist. w. of the Mississippi River.

Tetraopes huetheri Skillman 2007 


Host: Whorled milkweed, Asclepias verticillata L.

Range: South Dakota

Tetraopes linsleyi Chemsak

Host: Asclepias linaria

Range: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas

Tetraopes mandibularis Chemsak

Tetraopes mandibularis Chemsak - Tetraopes mandibularis Tetraopes mandibularis Chemsak - Tetraopes mandibularis Tetraopes mandibularis Chemsak - Tetraopes mandibularis Tetraopes mandibularis Chemsak - Tetraopes mandibularis

Host: Asclepias latifolia

Range: w. Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle

Tetraopes melanurus Schoenherr

Tetraopes melanurus Schonherr - Tetraopes melanurus

Host: Asclepias tuberosa

Range: Eastern United States

Tetraopes paracomes Chemsak


Host: Matelea quirosii

Range: Tamaulipas, Mexico to Costa Rica

Tetraopes pilosus Chemsak

Host: A. arenaria, A. speciosa, A. tuberosa

Range: Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas

Tetraopes quinquemaculatus Haldeman

Host: Asclepias amplexicaulis, A. hirtella

Range: Eastern North America to e. Texas

Tetraopes skillmani Chemsak & Noguera, 2003

Tetraopes skillmani Chemsak & Noguera - Tetraopes skillmani

Host: Twinevine - Funastrum

Range: Arizona

Tetraopes sublaevis Casey

Host: Asclepias erosa

Range: California, Arizona

Tetraopes tetrophthalmus (Forster)

Tetraopes tetrophthalmus (Forster) - Tetraopes tetrophthalmus

Host: Asclepias syriaca

Range: Common and widespread north and east of Colorado

Tetraopes texanus Horn

Host: Asclepias viridiflora

Range: Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and northern Mexico

Tetraopes thermophilus Chevrolat

Host: zizotes milkweed (Asclepias oenotheroides)

Range: se Texas to El Salvador

Texas Taxa:

Milkweed Longhorn Beetles of Texas
Host Range Maps (plus sp. not occuring in TX)
Abundance and Range Comments
Tetraopes annulatus LeConte A. subverticillataA. speciosa (A. sullivantii)
uncommon, Rocky Mtns, Great Plains
Tetraopes discoideus LeConte A. subverticillataA. verticillata, A. curassavica sw US to s. TX & KS, C. Amer.
Tetraopes femoratus LeConte A. speciosa, A. viridis (A. syriaca, plus other spp.) widely dist., w US, and midwest
Tetraopes linsleyi Chemsak A. asperula, A. subverticillata, Funastrum crispum (A. linaria)
uncommon, AZ to c TX
Tetraopes mandibularis Chemsak A. latifolia uncommon, TX panhandle & w OK
Tetraopes pilosus Chemsak A. arenaria, A. speciosaA. tuberosa uncommon, sandy areas, sc US
Tetraopes quinquemaculatus Haldeman A. longifolia, A. amplexicaulis, A. tuberosa, A. viridiflora
rare in TX, midwest
Tetraopes tetrophthalmus (Forster)
A. viridiflora (A. syriaca, A. purpurascens)
very rare in TX, ne US
Tetraopes texanus Horn A. asperula, A. viridis, A. longifolia, A. viridiflora, A. tuberosa
most common sp. in TX, sc US, Mex.
Tetraopes thermophilus Chevrolat A. oenotheroides
uncommon, c & se TX to C. Amer.

Photos of types and other specimens per Cerambycidae Catalog:


Arnett, R.H., Jr., M.C. Thomas, P.E. Skelley & J.H. Frank. (editors). 2002. American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea. CRC Press. 861 pp.

Betz, R.F., W.R. Rommel & J.J. Dichtl. 2000. Insect herbivores of 12 milkweed (Asclepias) species. Pp. 7-19, In: C. Warwick (ed.). Proceedings of the Fifteenth North American Prairie Conference, Natural Areas Association, Bend, OR.

Bezark L.G., and M.A. Monnι. 2013. Checklist of the Oxypeltidae, Vesperidae, Disteniidae and Cerambycidae (Coleoptera) of the Western Hemisphere. 470 pp.

Chemsak, J.A. 1963. Taxonomy and bionomics of the genus Tetraopes (Cerambycidae: Coleoptera). University of California Publications in Entomology 30(1): 1-90.

Chemsak, J.A., & F.A. Noguera. 2003. New Species of the Genus Tetraopes Schoenherr (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist 79: 237-244. (Abstract)

Dailey, P.J., R.C. Graves & J.M. Kingsolver. 1978. Survey of Coleoptera collected on the common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, at one site in Ohio. The Coleopterists Bulletin, 32(3): 223–229.

Farrell, B.D. 1991. Phylogenetics of insect/plant interactions: Tetraopes and Asclepias. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Maryland, College Park.

Farrell, B.D. 2001. Evolutionary assembly of the milkweed fauna: Cytochrome oxidase I and the age of Tetraopes beetles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 18(3): 467–478.

Farrell, B.D. & C. Mitter. 1998. The timing of insect/plant diversification: Might Tetraopes (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and Asclepias (Asclepiadaceae) have co-evolved? Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 63: 553–577.

Hartman, F.A. 1977. The ecology and coevolution of common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca, Asclepiadacieae) and milkweed beetles (Tetraopes tetraophthalmus, Cerambycidae). Ph.D. Thesis, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Hovore, F.T., R.L. Penrose & R.W. Neck. 1987. The Cerambycidae, or longhorned beetles, of southern Texas: a faunal survey (Coleoptera). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 44(13): 283-334, 20 figs.

Lawrence, W.S. 1982. Sexual dimorphism in between and within patch movements of a monophagous insect: Tetraopes (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Oecologia 53: 245-250.

Lingafelter, S.W. 2007. Illustrated key to the longhorned woodboring beetles of the eastern United States. Special Publication No. 3. Coleopterists Society Miscellaneous Publication. 206 pp.

Lingafelter, S.W. & N.V. Horner. 1993. The Cerambycidae of north-central Texas. The Coleopterists Bulletin, 47(2): 159-191.

Linsley E.G. & J.A. Chemsak. 1995. Cerambycidae of North America. Part VII, No. 2. Taxonomy and Classification of the Subfamily Lamiinae, Tribes Acanthocinini through Hemilophini. University of California publications in Entomology, 114: 1-292.

MacRae, T.C. 1993. Annotated checklist of the longhorned beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae and Disteniidae) occurring in Missouri. Insecta Mundi 7(4): 223–252.

MacRae, T.C. & M.E. Rice 2007. Biological and distributional observations on North American Cerambycidae (Coleoptera). Coleopterists Bulletin 61(2): 227-263.

Nishio, S., Blum, M.S., Takahashi, S. 1983. Intraplant distribution of cardenolides in Asclepias humistrata (Asclepiadaceae), with additional notes on their fates in Tetraopes melanurus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and Rhyssomatus lineaticollis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Memoirs of the College of Agriculture, Kyoto University 122: 43-52.

Price, P.W. & M.F. Willson. 1976. Some consequences for a parasitic herbivore, the milkweed longhorn beetle, Tetraopes tetrophthalmus, of a host-plant shift from Asclepias syriaca to A. verticillata. Oecologia 25: 331–340.

Price, P.W. & M.F. Willson. 1979. Abundance of herbivores on six milkweed species in Illinois. American Midland Naturalist 101: 76–86.

Rice, M.E., R.H. Turnbow & R.T. Hovore. 1985. Biological and distributional observations on Cerambycidae from the southwestern United States (Coleoptera). Coleopterists Bulletin 39: 18-24.

Rice, M.R. 1988. Natural history observations on Tetraopes and other Cerambycidae (Coleoptera) from the Great Plains ecosystem. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 61: 412–419.

Schiefer, T.L. 1998. Disjunct distribution of Cerambycidae (Coleoptera) in the black belt prairie and Jackson prairie in Mississippi and Alabama. Coleopterists Bulletin 52(3): 278-284.

Skillman, F.W., Jr. 2007. A new species of Tetraopes Schoenherr (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Insecta Mundi 0008: 1-3.

Yanega, D. 1996. Field guide to northeastern longhorn beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, 6:1-184.

26 May 2017  © Mike Quinn / Texas Entomology / Texas Beetle Resources