Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Stilt bugs

with 20 comments

People in Texas really do call these critters stilt bugs because of their long legs. I often find these insects, which I’m told are probably in the genus Jalysus, on downy gaura, Gaura parviflora; that was the case at Tejas Camp in Williamson County on the partly cloudy morning of April 26, when mating was the order of the day.


The daily posts that you’ve become accustomed to will continue while I’m away from Austin. Feel free to comment if you’d like, but please be aware that it may be a while before I can respond.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 6, 2012 at 5:49 AM

20 Responses

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  1. I only saw one of these in my life and that was a long time ago. Great shot.


    July 6, 2012 at 6:30 AM

    • Come to central Texas and you’ll be able to see these bugs fairly often. I most often find them on the plant shown here, Gaura mollis.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 6, 2012 at 7:27 AM

  2. Just a little creepy – just saying! Have a Great Weekend!


    July 6, 2012 at 11:09 AM

  3. Very nice shot Steve! The background, the colors, and the angle of the flower all come together in a great way.

    Michael Glover

    July 6, 2012 at 1:45 PM

  4. At first I thought it was a stick bug. Never heard of a stilt bug. Neato shot Steve!


    July 6, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    • We have various kinds of stick insects here as well, but I don’t think I’ve posted a picture of one yet.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 6, 2012 at 8:05 PM

  5. Oh, we love our bugs! Neat photo!


    July 6, 2012 at 7:08 PM

  6. I don’t remember ever seeing these. The walking sticks, praying mantis and such are so funny – and often hard to see because of their camouflage. This is a marvelously detailed photo.


    July 6, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    • As far as I recall, I’ve always seen walking sticks in isolation, but these stilt bugs are apparently social creatures, because I often see them in groups. If you have downy gaura plants in your area, and if you visit them from time to time, you’ll likely get acquainted with these critters.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 6, 2012 at 9:57 PM

  7. […] jolly green caterpillar and some mating stilt bugs may have been the highlights of my wanderings at Tejas Camp in Williamson County on April 26 of […]

  8. Hey! Another nice insect-and-flower shot, Steve. You know how I love those.

    It’s been the “bug of the month” for me. Here’s my daughter’s walking stick post (http://wp.me/p28k6D-tU) and one that came a few days after about how long they, uh, can be stuck together (http://wp.me/p35aO-2wx). 1400 hours? Really??


    July 7, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    • There are so many little critters out there, especially on plants, that I can’t help but include them in my pictures. As you know, some people love them and others don’t, so I don’t overdo it in this blog that’s devoted primarily to plants. Thanks for your links, Shannon: it’s good to see (and hear) that excitement.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 7, 2012 at 9:24 AM

  9. Very cool looking bug! The only thing we have similar in PA is a preying mantis, always a good addition to the garden.


    July 7, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    • Yes, they are unusual, with their extra-long legs. I come across these much more often than mantises in central Texas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 7, 2012 at 10:53 AM

  10. Terrific photograph, Steve. All the key components are pin sharp. The antennae are immense, I wonder why they need to be so long.

    Finn Holding

    July 7, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    • Thank you. Perhaps an entomologist could tell us what the large segments of the antennae are for.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 7, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    • … and why the antennae as a whole are so long; I guess we might as well ask that about the legs, too.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 8, 2012 at 6:08 AM

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