I don’t think this is a leaf footed bug
Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 7:34 AM
I took this picture today (4/24/09) in my wife’s herb garden. I tried to research it online and the closest I can come up with is a leaf footed bug, but I don’t think it’s a perfect match. We are located in Corpus Christi, Texas, and it is starting to get warm outside with relatively high humidity. If you are able to identify this bug, is it harmful to the plants? We only have herbs and flowers, no fruits or vegetables.
Tim Weitzel
Corpus Christi, Texas

possibly Giant Agave Bug

possibly Giant Agave Bug

Dear Tim,
You are correct. This is a Leaf Footed Bug or Big Legged Bug in the family Coreidae. This is a family with much diversity. According to BugGuide, there are 33 genera and at least 88 species in North America. We believe your specimen is in the genus Acanthocephala. BugGuide lists five species and four are reported from Texas, though the information page on the genus on BugGuide indicates that all five may be found in Texas. We are not certain which of the species your specimen is, but the only one with a common name is Acanthocephala thomasi, the Giant Agave Bug which “Feeds on juice of the Agave plant, according to this site . Also feeds on legumes “. We doubt any of the species would ever be so plentiful as to damage individual plants.

Update: Wed, 6 May 2009 17:40:24 -0700 (PDT)
The leaf-footed bug from Corpus Christi, TX is indeed in the genus Acanthocephala, but it is unmistakably Acanthocephala declivis.  That steep front edge to the thorax is pretty diagnostic.

4 Responses to Leaf Footed Bug, possibly Giant Agave Bug

  1. n2guns says:

    No doubt in my mind that this is a Acanthocephala declivis based on the tubercles on the pronotum and the shape of the expanded flanges on the hind tibial shaft.


  2. Lori Britt says:

    I have several of these crawling around the ceilings of my open-air front porch and attached carport. They never seem to bother my plants, and there are plenty to choose from, both in pots and in a flower bed right next to the front porch; but I don’t have any agave plants, or anything close to them. I do have milkweed, and I’ve seen Milkweed Assassin bugs from time to time on those particular plants; however, we witnessed a darker-colored Assassin bug sucking/eating the contents of a fairly new wasp nest. Is this common…are they all looking for wasp nests to devour?

  3. Lori Britt says:

    Upon further research, I have concluded that the bugs are not Assassin bugs, after all. They are the Leaf Footed (or Big Footed) bugs. However, I am still unable to figure out why they aren’t on any of my plants, and eating wasp larvae.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.