Questions for a Biologist

A number (12) of little orange ant looking things were walking about on my cactus one May day in 2007.  Surprised at the sight of these new critters I photographed them in hopes that someday someone would tell me what they were.

Just this weekend a biologist friend of mine “JD” visited and I finally got to pull a file photo of the buggers that I found roaming about.  He didn’t know what they were.  Sadly.  He suggested using EOL.org, but I looked unsuccessfully.  So here I am now asking The Internet for answers to a long standing question of mine.  What kind of little buggies are these?

The extent of my description: Six legs, Color: translucent orange, small spikes on the thorax, long antenne, highly aware of photographer as they moved to the opposite side of the cactus when I was photographing them.

-a short movie of the insects-

To JD’s credit, we showed him a picture of a beautiful flower we saw yesterday along the road, and he identified it rapidly and once again fully impressed us.  Hoorah!

That’s a “Passion Flower.” and there you have it.

passiflora incarnata – is a naturally grown medicinal herb, approved by the German Commission E in the treatment of insomnia and nervousness. It is also used as a sedative in nervous disorders (including gastrointestinal complaints of nervous origin), difficulties in sleeping, and anxiety or restlessness. Passion Flower reduces spasms and depresses the central nervous system. www.passionflower.org