New glasses or more coffee?

What are these weird little insects on the cactus near the sand pendulum? I'm sure they weren't there last Sunday. Are they an event, or an unfortunate infestation? Or should I keep trying to wipe that sunscreen off my glasses?

With only my crummy cell phone camera, screen smeared with sunscreen, I attempted a shot to document the invasion of these black-legged insects with perfectly cactus green abdomens.

Mid-afternoon I got another weird cell phone photo, but it makes me happy. The sidewalk shows white hot behind the tumbling bowling pin cacti with backlit fuzzy spikes. The intended subject of this documentation is not very clear, but it's a larger version of these same cacti invaders.

Chelinidea vittiger is my best ID for the cactus insects. They are plant-eaters, and a type of leaf-footed bug. If you want to get rid of cactus they are your allies. If some of your best friends are cacti, these insects are bad news.

Sunscreen is an occupational hazard these days. I get it in my eyes, on my eyeglasses, my camera, my phone, and occasionally on the body part most endangered by continuous exposure to sun rays.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

Michael - Plano Prairie Garden said...

I think you are correct on the ID. I periodically get those on my "spineless" cactus. I squish them with a gloved finger. Not sure I would try that technique on a prickly cactus.