Subject: Insect on gourds
Location: Norman, OK
July 12, 2014 11:45 am
I am having difficulty identifying a particular insect dwelling on my lagenaria gourds. The attached images show an adult and a pair of immature insects. They can fly, at least short distances, but they keep the wings against these body when at rest and the wings are inconspicuous at that time. They seem to be reproducing quickly. I would rather not remove a beneficial insect from my garden but I suspect they are sucking insects–they have a thin probe-type extension that they seem to be using to feed, much like a mosquito.
Signature: Lizzie Boger
At first we thought this might be a predatory Thread Legged Bug, but we quickly realized the antennae and front legs are very different. We quickly matched your adult to a Stilt Bug on BugGuide and we learned on the BugGuide information page that: “Hosts include Oenothera biennis, Gaura, Panicum, tomatoes, sometimes ornamental gourds. J. spinosus is in part predatory (survival much higher when animal food is available).” So it appears to be a partially predatory species that also feeds on ornamental gourds.
Thank you! I appreciate the identification. I adore your website and its lovely insect photos.