Abstract Milkweed beetles, Tetraopes tetraophalmus (Forster) (Cerambycidae), were flight tested three times weekly throughout their lives. Flight durations peaked early in life and then declined rapidly with age. Significant variation existed (1) between individuals, with some flying for long periods of time, others for only a few seconds, and (2) within individuals, with some flying for long periods on some test days and very briefly or not at all on other days. Long and short fliers were indistinguishable on the basis of size, sex, or lifespan. The data show that studies of insect flight will underestimate the number of long fliers in a population by as much as 50% or more unless individuals are flight tested more than once.