Cluster of Orange-Bodied Bugs (Leaf-footed bug nymphs)
(New Orleans, LA)
Location: New Orleans, LA
Behavior: I found these insects on my Malabar Spinach plant (last week of August). They were clustered together almost hidden—and motionless— on the underside of leaves and vines. They walked/marched away from me as I touched the plant, but did not fly. (I almost mistook them for spiders, because their front antennae appear as long as their legs.)
I’ve seen pictures that state they may be assassin bugs. But, they are all over what appears to be a healthy plant with no other insect infestation for them to feast. The picture captures how I found them in their communal behavior rather than an extreme close-up of one bug.
Any confirmation of species is appreciated. (I’m hoping they’re beneficial, versus something that will eradicate my plant.)