Reader Tom Hennessy send some insect photos a while back, and I misplaced them. Fortunately, he re-sent them, and here they are. His notes are indented; note that all these insects are all brightly colored and quite visible—likely examples of aposematic (“warning“) coloration because the sap of the milkweed contains toxic compounds, probably rendering the insects distasteful to predators. That’s the reason why monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus), which also feed on milkweeds, are bright orange and black.
I have a series of photographs that you may be interested in. The first four were taken this past summer at Lewis Ginter Botanic Garden in Richmond, VA. First, is the flower of a common milkweed plant (Asclepias syriaca) and the second is the large milkweed bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus) on the flowers. As I looked closer on one of the plants, I also saw an infestation of tiny Oleander aphids (Aphis nerii), shown in the third and fourth photos.
Then in mid-October, I visited a large meadow in Shenandoah National Park. There were hundreds of milkweed plants and many were burst open to spread their seeds. The next couple of photos are of the pods and seeds. In addition, there were numerous milkweed bugs on the pods, both adults and juveniles.