Insect and Bug ID forum: What's this bug and how did it find us?

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Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
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kylaluaz
Jun 25, 2015 9:30 AM CST
So I got some free seeds of Ceratotheca triloba Alba, which have grown into lovely plants. This is an African (South African I believe) flowering annual that resembles foxglove and is called South African Foxglove for that reason.

As soon as flowers began opening, these very small and delicate bugs -- wasps? moths? I can't tell! -- appeared and started slowly crawling around and mating on the flowering stems. I see them nowhere else and they seem to be doing no damage. No idea what they eat, but I would love to know their names and any info anyone has.

Thumb of 2015-06-25/kylaluaz/8a1c4f

Very hard to get a clear shot of these; though they move slowly, they notice my attempts to focus the camera and usually move right out of the way by the time I have managed it. I have taken maybe ten shots trying to get a clear one. Hope this one is good enough!

What do you think?
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jun 25, 2015 4:57 PM CST
Looks to me like it could be a stilt bug:

http://www.uark.edu/ua/arthmuse/stiltbug.html
http://www.forestryimages.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=53938...
http://bugguide.net/node/view/817864/bgimage
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
Image
kylaluaz
Jun 25, 2015 6:05 PM CST
Yes I agree. That may explain why my gaura is not flowering.... it doesn't look like these are eating anything but they have to be. Maybe they also eat mosquitoes. Hilarious!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Jun 25, 2015 6:54 PM CST
They're "true bugs" also, the order Hemiptera. So they wouldn't be chewing obvious chunks out of plants but are piercing-sucking insects. They suck in more ways than one Hilarious!
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
Image
kylaluaz
Jun 25, 2015 7:44 PM CST
Ah. Well, but they are graceful and pretty and interesting.
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
Image
kylaluaz
Jun 28, 2015 10:23 AM CST
I figured out what they are eating. They are sucking or eating something at the base of the flowers where they attach to the stem. So then the flowers fall off. The gaura -- I've seen maybe three blooms on it, and elsewhere all strong foliage and withered flowers. The African Foxglove just drops its flowers on the ground.

So I am hoping the hummingbird that showed up this morning (first one,yay!) will eat some stilt bugs! Or somebody will. Glare

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