Leaf-footed bugs are a type of insect that can cause damage to various plants, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and ornamentals.
They are medium to large-sized insects with piercing-sucking mouthparts that enable them to feed on plant seeds and other parts, especially seeds.
These insects get their name from the small leaf-like enlargements on their hind legs, which are a notable feature of their appearance.
Are Leaf Footed Bugs Harmful?
Leaf Footed Bugs can be harmful to plants due to their feeding habits. They can damage the buds, flowers, fruits, and seeds.
These bugs feed on numerous types of plants such as tomatoes, peaches, blueberries, beans, okra, and pecans.
When leaf-footed bugs feed on tomato fruits, for instance, they may cause yellow, hardened spots on the surface.
Identifying Leaf Footed Bugs
Size and Coloration
Leaf footed bugs are medium to large-sized insects, typically ranging from 1/2 to 3/4 inch in length. However, certain Mississippi species can be as long as 1¼ inches.
They belong to the Coreidae family and are usually dark-colored, although some may be tan, orange, or yellowish with contrasting colors.
For instance, the Eastern leaf-footed bug (Leptoglossus phyllopus) often has a noticeable white line across the back of its wings1.
Hind Legs and Abdomens
Additionally, their abdomens may have distinctive markings.
Antennae and Markings
Leaf footed bugs are equipped with antennae and may exhibit certain markings that can help differentiate them from other insects4.
Life Cycle and Habitats of Leaf Footed Bugs
From Eggs to Adulthood
Leaf footed bugs begin their life as eggs which are usually laid on plant stems or leaves. These eggs are around 1.4 mm long, barrel-shaped, and bronze to dark in color1.
As they hatch, the bugs become nymphs which are a similar shape as the adults, but without the leaf-footed extensions on their legs. Nymphs range in color from deep orange to light brown and have no wings.
As nymphs grow and molt, they develop into fully winged adults which are usually brown and about 20 mm long2.
Overwintering and Population Increase
Leaf footed bugs overwinter in protected areas such as woodpiles, cracks in walls, or other sheltered spaces in your yard or landscape.
As temperatures rise in spring, adult bugs leave their overwintering sites and start to reproduce.
During this time, their population can increase rapidly, posing a risk to plants as the bugs feed on them using piercing-sucking mouthparts to extract plant juices3.
Such feeding can lead to plant damage, especially in fruiting vegetables, nuts, and ornamentals4.
Examples of common leaf footed bug habitats in your yard:
- Areas with abundant leaf litter
Characteristics of leaf footed bugs:
- Hind legs often have leaf-like extensions
- Medium to large size (about 20 mm in adults)
- Piercing-sucking mouthparts for feeding on plants
Are Leaf Footed Bugs Bad for Plants?
Leaf footed bugs are known to be harmful to various garden plants and fruits. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts, which allow them to extract sap from plant parts, particularly seeds1.
Some possible consequences of their feeding include:
Affected Crops and Ornamental Plants
Leaf footed bugs can be a nuisance in both agricultural and ornamental settings. Examples of affected crops and ornamental plants include:
Here’s a comparison table of some affected plants and the damages caused by leaf footed bugs:
|Plant||Damage Caused by Leaf Footed Bugs|
|Pomegranates||Feed on seeds, leading to reduced fruit quality and yield.|
|Citrus||Damage to fruits’ surface, affecting appearance and weight.|
|Tomatoes||Yellow, hardened spots2|
|Ornamentals||Unsightly marks on leaves and stems.|
Therefore, leaf footed bugs can cause significant damage to garden plants, fruit trees, and ornamentals.
It is essential to monitor their presence and take appropriate measures to control their population to protect your plants and crops.
How Do Leaf Footed Bugs Feed on Plants?
Leaf footed bugs are known to feed on plants using their specialized piercing-sucking mouthparts. These mouthparts allow them to:
- Pierce the plant’s tissues
- Extract essential juices
For instance, leaf footed bugs pierce the fruit, causing yellow and hardened spots on the surface.
Leaf footed bugs extract juices from various plant parts like seeds, fruiting vegetables, nuts, and ornamentals. Their feeding can lead to:
- Damage to plant tissues
- Yield loss due to deformed fruits
Some of the plants they often target include:
While feeding, leaf footed bugs can transmit diseases from one plant to another. The diseases can be viral, bacterial, or fungal and can lead to slowed growth and even plant death.
Common diseases spread by leaf footed bugs
- Viral diseases: Tomato spotted wilt virus
- Bacterial diseases: Fire blight
- Fungal diseases: Botrytis gray mold
Comparison of leaf footed bugs to other pests
|Leaf Footed Bugs||Other Insect Pests|
|Piercing-sucking mouthparts||Wide range of mouthparts (e.g., chewing, sponging)|
|Feed on a variety of plants, spreading diseases||Some pests are specific to certain plant types|
|Damage limited to the area they pierce||Can cause widespread damage to entire plants|
Therefore, leaf footed bugs are a significant concern for gardeners and farmers due to their feeding habits and ability to spread diseases.
Proper identification and control measures are essential to minimize their impact on plants.
Controlling Leaf Footed Bugs in Your Garden
Natural Predators and Beneficial Insects
Leaf-footed bugs can be controlled through natural predators.
Examples of such predators include:
- Birds: Various bird species help keep the leaf-footed bug population in check by feeding on them.
- Assassin bugs: These beneficial insects are known to prey on leaf-footed bugs, offering a natural solution to the problem.
- Spiders: Arachnid predators such as spiders can also help manage the leaf-footed bug population in your garden.
Cultural and Mechanical Controls
Cultural and mechanical controls play a significant role in managing leaf-footed bugs.
Some of these methods are:
- Weed removal: Leaf-footed bugs often live and lay eggs in weeds, so keeping your garden free from these unwanted plants helps reduce their population.
- Debris removal: Cleaning up plant debris prevents leaf-footed bugs from finding suitable hiding spots, reducing the chances of infestation.
- Hand-picking: Physically removing the bugs from your crops can significantly decrease their numbers.
Chemical and Organic Insecticides
In cases of severe infestation, insecticides can be used to manage leaf-footed bugs, with options ranging from chemical to organic solutions.
Some popular choices include:
- Insecticidal soap: A mild, eco-friendly option that’s safe for use around beneficial insects like bees and other pollinators.
- Neem oil: An organic, plant-based solution that minimizes harm to beneficial insects.
- Permethrin: A synthetic, broad-spectrum insecticide that’s effective against various pests, but it can also negatively impact beneficial insects.
Table showing different chemical and organic insecticides
|Insecticidal soap||Eco-friendly, safe for beneficial insects||May require frequent application|
|Neem oil||Organic, plant-based, minimal harm to beneficial insects||Limited effectiveness on severe infestations|
|Permethrin||Broad-spectrum, effective against various pests||Harmful to beneficial insects and pollinators|
Leaf Footed Bugs can indeed pose a threat to a wide range of plants due to their feeding habits, which can lead to damage in buds, flowers, fruits, and seeds.
Their presence can result in reduced fruit quality, altered appearances, and even the spread of diseases among plants.
However, by employing natural predators, practicing cultural and mechanical controls, and using appropriate insecticides, gardeners can effectively manage Leaf Footed Bug populations.
Vigilance and a balanced approach to pest management are key in maintaining a thriving garden ecosystem.
- Eastern Leaf-footed Bug | NC State Extension Publications ↩ ↩2 ↩3 ↩4 ↩5 ↩6 ↩7
- [Leaffooted Insect Pests – Gardening Solutions – University of Florida](https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/care/ pests-and-diseases/pests/leaffooted-insect-pests.html) ↩ ↩2 ↩3 ↩4 ↩5 ↩6
- Eastern Leaf-footed Bug | NC State Extension Publications ↩ ↩2 ↩3
- Leaffooted Bug Management Guidelines–UC IPM – ucanr.edu ↩ ↩2
Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about leaf footed bugs. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.
Letter 1 – Leaf Footed Bug Hatchlings
Subject: what bug is this??
Location: florida, west palm beach
December 26, 2012 2:40 am
I found these interesting bugs all bunched up together…could you tell me what they are??
Signature: I dont know what you mean.
Letter 2 – Immature Coreid Bug
I have no clue what this bug is. It has 8 legs, but two of them it seems to use as antennae, so I don’t think it’s a spider….do you know what it is?
You have a species of immature Coreid Bug. You are very lucky you did not get bitten. Even the nymphs can deliver a painful bite. In addition to its sucking mouthparts, it has six legs like all insects, and two antennae.
Letter 3 – Leaf Footed Bug Hatchlings, we believe
Attacking my Tomatoes and Barbados Cherries
Location: Space Coast of Florida
July 3, 2011 4:35 pm
Sure would appreciate knowing what these are and how to eliminate them…
We believe these are Leaf Footed Bug Hatchlings in the genus Leptoglossus, but hatchlings are often difficult to identify conclusively. There are several members in the genus Leptoglossus that can be found in Florida, and some feed on tomatoes. Compare your insects to this photo on BugGuide.
Letter 4 – Clown Bug and Clown Bug Nymph from Australia
Is this a Shield Bug?
January 26, 2010
Image 1.I first thought this was a Shield Bug, but am not so sure especially the hind legs?
Image2. Large 2inch beetle?
Image3. What type of Assasin bug could this be?
Grafton New South Wales Australia
Generally, we only like to post one species of insect, or at least only closely related species in the same posting, and we prefer that letters be more than a list, as information that is provided is often very helpful for identification purposes. Detailed letters are also much more entertaining than reading a list.
With that said, your first and third images are both in the same family, Coreidae, commonly called the Leaf Footed Bugs or Big Legged Bugs. In the case of your specimens, Big Legged Bugs seems more appropriate.
We suspect that your two images might be the same species, as nymphs are often more brightly colored than adults which are winged. We researched this on the Brisbane Insect website and we believe you have submitted photos of a Clown Bug in the adult and late instar nymph forms. The Clown Bug, Amorbus robustus, is also called the Eucalyptus Tip Bug. Your photos are beautiful.
Letter 5 – Leaf Footed Bug Hatchlings
Assassin Bug Nymphs?
Location: Leimert Park, Los Angeles, CA
October 11, 2012
Hi Daniel and Christiane,
Last week, this “ant camp” appeared on one of my squash leaves. They
were not active, just seemed to be hanging out. They were only on one
of many squash leaves and are no longer there.
After some research, I’m very glad I didn’t harass them. They appear
to be assassin bug nymphs. Any other thoughts? Would that be an
adult at upper right? Are the small less colorful ones just younger
You both have my permission to publish in any format and I can send a
higher resolution version as well…if you don’t mind crediting me.
Leimert Park, Los Angeles
There is no one named Christiane on our staff. There is not enough detail in your photograph for us to make out the identity of the insect in the upper right, but it is not related to what you have mistaken for hatchling Assassin Bugs.
Your insects are hatchling Leaf Footed Bugs, probably in the genus Leptoglossus, and most likely Leptoglossus zonatus, which according to BugGuide: “Feeds on flowers and fruits of many plants, including citrus, tomatoes, various members of the squash family, and many other plants.” They really resemble these hatchlings found in nearby Long Beach that were posted to BugGuide.
I had cc’d Christiane who is a professor at UC Riverside with an
assassin bug specialty.
The reason I thought they were assassin bug nymphs:
especially the milkweed nymphs. Do you think these were
They look different as photo’d by national geo
On the other hand, when I search for leaf footed milkweed nymphs
elsewhere, I also don’t pull a match for most images.
Hi again David,
The Assassin Bug nymphs in your FlickR link are Wheel Bugs, and are definitely not your insects. The National Geographic link you provided is for a photo and the photo is not identified when we dragged it to our desktop.
Sorry for the delay – the picture shows so-called leaf-footed bugs in the family Coreidae. A number of genera and species feed on Cucurbitaceae, i.e. zucchinis and squashes, and I am not sure which species is shown in the pictures.
Letter 6 – Leaf Footed Bug from South Africa might be Giant Twig Wilter
You guessed it… I can’t identify a bug…
Hello bug man!
I’m from Johannesburg, South Africa and I have hundreds of these bugs in a single bush in my garden (but nowhere else) They don’t seem to be damaging the plant but they’re sure freaky looking. Most of them have eye-markings on their backs, but some of them look different. Any idea what they are and whether they’re dangerous? Thanks!
You have adult and wingless immature nymphs of some species of Leaf Footed Bug in the family Coreidae. They suck plant juices and give off an odor when disturbed.
While researching the Millipede Assassin Bug image that we just received, we believe we have stumbled onto the correct identification of this Coreid, probably the Giant Twig Wilter, Carlisis wahlbergi.
Letter 7 – Leaf Footed Bug Hatchlings
Mass of bright orange bugs protecting something?
Location: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
August 18, 2010 1:41 pm
While having a smoke in my back yard i came across a brightly colored mass upon the white wall of my house. i realized it was a group of insects (six legs?) apparently protecting something. i have never seen anything like it before, they occasionally moved to rearrange their ”defensive”? structure other than that they just stay put.
I live on a mountain and have tarantulas, black widows and scorpions. But the shape of these critters is quite strange i looked them up in all the bugs books i had and didn’t find anything like them wondering if you could help out, THanks a LOT!!!
We found a match for these Leaf Footed Bug hatchlings on BugGuide, but the genus and species is not identified. There is speculation they may be in the genus Leptoglossus.
I think this the one…
Letter 8 – Leaf Footed Bug: Leptoglossus brevirostris???
Garden Bug: Good or Evil?
Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 2:29 PM
We have a number of these in the front garden. They seem to like the roses and the Mexican Heather. The long proboscis makes it look like some kind of sap-sucking guy, or … is it some kind of assassin bug? I couldn’t find it here, or in any of the common bug guides. So, should I be letting these guys run free, or should I be squishing ’em?
Los Angeles, California
Dear Bug Hunter,
This is a Leaf Footed Bug or Big Legged Bug in the genus Leptoglossus. We believe, based on a description on BugGuide, that this is Leptoglossus brevirostris.
BugGuide does not have images of the species, has this description: “Reduced irregular yellow-white cross-stripe is mostly confined to veins.” We have seen members of the genus Leptoglossus in Los Angeles feeding on pomegranates and tomatoes, sucking the juices from the fruit and leaving unsightly blemishes.
Letter 9 – Eucalyptus Tip Bug
Sun, Jan 25, 2009 at 10:24 PM
Found this nymph of a Eucalyptus Tip Wilter (Amorbus alternatus) hard at work on a young Ironbark tree. Stunning to look at but they do a lot of damage, particularly in areas where other trees and predators have been removed for grazing.
Thanks so much for sending us this beautiful photo of an immature Eucalyptus Tip Bug or Eucalyptus Tip Wilter, one of the Leaf Footed Bugs in the family Coreidae. We also found a link to an Australian Insect site with more information about this species.
Letter 10 – Leaf Footed Bug laying eggs
bug in Houston, TX
Your site is amazing; great work! A couple of years ago, my husband and I moved from Southern California to Houston, Texas. We soon started seeing lines of what we assume are bug eggs on the sides of our house. I was able to snap a picture of one of the bugs responsible for the lines today, and I’m fairly certain I never saw anything like it in California. I would love it if you could identify the bug! Many thanks,
This is a Coreid Bug, also known as a Big Legged Bug or Leaf Footed Bug, in the genus Leptoglossus. Our first guess is Leptoglossus phyllopus, but it might also be Leptoglossus clypealis or Leptoglossus zonatus.
Letter 11 – Bug of the Month January 2012: Hemipterans Hibernating in the Home!!!
Location: Elyria, Ohio
January 2, 2012 10:47 pm
We live in northern Ohio. Every winter we get Stinkbugs in the house. I know they are coming in because it’s cold out, so I’m not going to throw them back outside. Can I put them in a terrarium or something until spring? What do they eat? And will they bite? Thanks!
The insect in your photo does not appear to have been photographed during the winter and it is not a Stink Bug. It is a Leaf Footed Bug in the family Coreidae, but we are unable to determine the species from the angle of your photograph. There are many different species of Hemipterans or True Bugs that seek shelter indoors when the weather begins to cool. Stink Bugs including the invasive, exotic Brown Marmorated Stink Bug frequently hibernate indoors.
Other Hemipterans that hibernate indoors include the Western Conifer Seed Bug and the Boxelder Bug. They will not damage the home or its furnishings, and they pose no threat to people or pets, however, they can become a nuisance if they are numerous.
The Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle is another insect that hibernates in homes, often in great numbers, but it is a beetle, not a Hemipteran. Since so many folks will be experiencing hibernating Hemipterans this month, we have decided to feature your letter as our Bug of the Month for January 2012.
Letter 12 – Eucalyptus Tip Bug Nymph from Australia
What is the bugs name?
November 24, 2009
We are a daycare centre for preschoolers in Sydney, and some of our children were very curious as to what this bug was. Perhaps you could help us figure it out! 🙂
SDN Linthorpe Street
Newtown, Sydney NSW
This is an immature Eucalyptus Tip Bug in the genus Amorbus. We believe it looks closest to Amorbus rhombifer based on photos on the Brisbane Insect Website.
Letter 13 – Fruit Spotting Bug nymph
Subject: What is this bug! Queensland Australia
Location: Queensland Australia
November 26, 2016 4:08 pm
Could you help us figure out what this bug is? It looks like an assasin bug but still has pink legs where as on google other assasin bugs have full black legs? Is it just a baby?
Signature: No preference
This is NOT an Assassin Bug. Our gut reaction was that this must be a Leaf Footed Bug or Tip Wilter in the family Coreidae, and that suspicion proved correct when we located this FlickR image taken of Airlie Beach. We found it identified as a Fruit Spotting Bug, Amblypelta lutescens or A. nitida , thanks to the Brisbane Insect site. It is called a Banana Spotting Bug on the International Journal of Pest Management site.
Ahh thank you so much! It’s been driving is crazy 🙂
Letter 14 – Giant Tip Wilters, First Instar and Imagos, from South Africa
December 8, 2016 9:06 am
ref photo, Taken by me, Johannesburg, Dec 8th near the airport. The closest thing I could find was the Helmeted Squash bug. But I dont think its that. African derivative ? It does stink, when disturbed,
and does have offspring as per pic, plenty of. Please could you let me know what this is ?
Hi, I found it
Carlisis Wahlbergi, or giant twig wilter, apparently you guys had already ID’d this in 2010. Thx G
We are happy you located the Giant Tip Wilter on our site. Your image is awesome. It pictures two winged imagos, the adult form, and what we believe is a first instar nymph recently hatched. Since we will be away from the office during the holidays, we are postdating your submission to go live to our site at the end of the month.
Update: January 6, 2017
Thank you for putting the pic on the web site.
I have two more , as attached, for your perusal.
Happy New Year Gary,
Your new images are quite nice. We especially like the image of the newly metamorphosed red nymph whose color should soon darken.
Letter 15 – Heliconia Bug from Costa Rica
Subject: Black beetle with Red and Yellow Markings
Location: Tortuguero, Costa Rica
February 22, 2016 11:01 pm
Hello Mr. Bugman! I hope you can help me. I have a picture of a beetle that I couldn’t identify. I took this picture while at Turtle Beach Lodge in Tortuguero. Please see picture attached.
Signature: Lise Leger
This is not a beetle. It is a Leaf Footed Bug or Big Legged Bug in the family Coreidae. We found it identified as Leptoscelis tricolor on Nature Close Ups and the identification is accompanied by several citations.
The site states: “This coreid is commonly known as the heliconia bug simply because it’s often found feeding on heliconias.” Featured Creatures also has images of immature stages and provides this fascinating information: “Male Leptoscelis tricolor defend territories on heliconia inflorescences.
When two males encounter one another, one male usually begins twitching his front legs up and down. If the competition continues to escalate, the second male will also begin twitching his front legs up and down. The two males turn around, end-to-end, and wrap their hind legs around one another.
Short squeezing bursts may then be observed, with the spines of one or both of the male’s legs pressing into the abdomen of the opponent. Squeezing may continue for some time, and males will even continue to wrestle if they fall off the host plant.”
Wow! Thank you for the quick response. No wonder I couldn’t find it in the beetles pictures. And yes, that is very interesting information indeed. Wrestlers! How funny.
Letter 16 – Immature Citron Bug from Malaysia
Subject: Beetles on Loofah flowers
Location: Kedah, Malaysia
February 5, 2014 2:49 am
I found these two insects on yellow loofah flowers. I am not sure if the two are related (e.g. male/female). Both are small, body is about 1 cm long.
The brown and orange one have leaf-footed like feature.
Weather : Hot and humid
Climate : Tropical
We are going to handle your identification requests independently. The insect that is pictured in three of your photos which you have described as “the brown and orange one have leaf-footed like feature” is actually a Leaf Footed Bug in the family Coreidae, and we believe we have identified it as a Citron Bug, Leptoglossus gonagra, thanks to a photo posted on The Flying Kiwi.
According to Citrus Pests ID Tools, its worldwide distribution is “Cape Verde Islands, the Caribbean, Central America, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Pacific Islands, Papau New Guinea, and South America” but the native range is “not reported.”
The undeveloped wings indicate that this is an immature specimen. Though the Citron Bug is reported from North America, BugGuide does not have any images of an immature individual. Discover Life, which does not provide a photo, indicates the common name is Passionvine Bug.
The red nymphs pictured on Nature Love You are much younger than your nymph. We cannot locate an image of an immature Citron Bug that resembles your individual, and we are basing our identification on the orange markings on the ventral view which resemble the markings on the adult, including the individual posted on Forestry Images.
Thank you so much for your hard work! I did not expect an immature version of the Citron bug. That’s probably why I couldn’t find any pictures of a bug with a single large orange dot on the back.
I think you are right. IDTools mentioned that it is pest to passion fruit and there are passion fruit vines right next to the loofah plant I caught these in. Now I know what’s been marring the passion fruit skins.
Thank you again.
Letter 17 – Leaf Footed Bug from Mexico
Recognize this Fella?
Hi – I know you folks get a ton of these a day… I’m just not even sure how to find out if you did reply on your site? I’ve searched high and low… Thanks for any information you are able to provide.
Just got back from sunny Mexico, where we met this guy (gal?) in Xcaret, about 10 mins south of Playa del Carmen, or 45 mins south of Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Overall a friendly sort except for a minor social faux pas where he attempted to project his offal at me. I hold no grudges. 😉 Can you please tell me if you know what he is? Forgive me if he’s listed already on your site…I did try to find him!! Thanks in advance – hope the photo suffices! Tanya L.
We are so sorry you waited so long for a reply, but if we don’t answer within a few days of the email arrival, we generally cannot respond since so much new mail has arrived. This is a Coreid Bug or Leaf Footed Bug. Sorry we can’t be more specific than family.
Letter 18 – Leaf Footed Bug from Mexico
Dear Bug man,
I´ve had these odd bugs living with me in Mexico! I haven’t a clue what they are and would loe to know more about them. They are very beautiful. Pictures are attached. Cheers,
These are immature Leaf Footed Bugs. They are probably in the genus Thassus. They might be a color variation of the Giant Mesquite Bug, Thasus acutangulus, or they might be a separate species.
Letter 19 – Leaf Footed Bug from South Africa
south african bug
I spotted this insect in a restaurant courtyard in Stellenbosch, South Africa two days ago. If you have time, please could you help me identify it? I thought it might be some kind of stink bug, but I’m really not sure… Thanks
Cape Town , South Africa
This is a Leaf Footed Bug in the family Coreidae. It is the same order as the Stink Bugs, but different family. Sorry we do not know the species.
Update: October 22, 2010
A letter sent to us today was identified as a Tip Wilter, Anoplocnemis curvipes, thanks to the Biodiversity Explorer website, and now we have an identification for this image from our archives.
Letter 20 – Leaf Footed Bug from Sicily
This flying insect was found in my house, any help appreciated.
Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 4:10 AM
This little guy decided to try to bathe with my 2 year old and I havent been able to figure out what it is. Any help would be appreciated . It has white and black stripped antenna as well as a red abdomen on top lined with black and white stripes. The underside of the abdomen is simple black and white stripes. A friend refered me to your site as the “go to place”.
This is some species of Leaf Footed Bug or Big Legged Bug in the family Coreidae. We are not certain of the exact species. Perhaps a reader will provide the answer, or perhaps we will have more luck in the future.
Letter 21 – Immature Leaf Footed Bug from Peru
Thu, Nov 6, 2008 at 1:06 AM
Hello! I came across this beetle a few years ago in Machu Picchu, Peru on the way up to Huayna Picchu (a summit next to Machu Picchu) at an altitude of about 2500 m. Can you please tell me what it is? Thank you!
This is a Coreid Bug or Leaf Footed Bug or Big Legged Bug. It reminds us of the Giant Mesquite Bug, Thasus acutangulus, and we suspect it may be closely related.
Letter 22 – Leaf Footed Bug: Giant Mesquite Bug or close relative
Need ID for Neo tropical Conservation Project
Tue, Jun 2, 2009 at 5:37 PM
Sorry it’s me again. I have this pic of a very colorful bug that looks like a reduviid but the narrow neck usually typical of the family is not present and also the shield on the back is kind of wierd… therefore I was thinking it might be in another family, maybe leaffooted bug (correidae) although those one are not really colorful most of the time. Any ID?
You may want to check this link on flickr as someone else took a pic of a similar bug at higher elevetion somewhere else in the country (a difference of 500 metres!). On his pic you will also see the profile of the lad which can prove helpful. Here’s the link:
Absolutely no rush, I know you are busy working on that book, so good luck with it! You are doing a wonderful job teaching people how to admire and respect bugs. Thank you!
Hi again Thierry,
We agree with the family Coreidae (only one r), the Leaf Footed Bugs. It may be the genus Thasus which contains the Giant Mesquite Bug, Thasus neocalifornicus, which looks quite similar. You can see images of this species, which ranges in California and Mexico, on BugGuide. The insect in the photo on the link you provided is incorrectly identified as being in the family Reduvidae, the Assassin Bugs.
Letter 23 – Leaf Footed Bug Hatchlings: Leptoglossus species
Western Conifer Seed Bug Hatchlings?
August 9, 2009
We removed a bush in the front yard a few months ago and it was crawling with thousands of what we later identified as some sort of Western Conifer Seed Bug – using your site to identify them of course! A few days ago one was crawling on our wall and left a trail – my son called it a poop trail.
A couple of days later there was a spot on the wall by the trail and looking closer revealed that it was hatchlings. We got a decent shot of the little guys and they have since moved on. Hope you can use this photo.
San Fernando, CA
There is a matching photo on BugGuide, but it is only identified to the genus level of Leptoglossus, and not to the species level. Though we did not see your adult insect, we are going to go out on a limb and say we believe this to be a close relative of Leptoglossus occidentalis, the Western Conifer Seed Bug.
We believe it is Leptoglossus zonatus which is quite in Southern California. Unlike the Western Conifer Seed Bug, it has a jagged white line across the wings. You can see images on BugGuide which also seem to match the unidentified adult image associated with the photo of the hatchlings.
Letter 24 – Leaf Footed Bug hatchlings
Red spiders and red egg strip
September 8, 2009
I spotted a blob of something on the back wall of my yard in the shade of my palm tree. It was a 2″ long, vertical reddish strip, and clustered around it was a group of tiny reddish bugs or spiders.
The bugs appear to have hatched from the strip. Later in the day I spotted similar reddish egg strips on our North facing (shaded) patio screen, but nothing had hatched from them at the time. Any ideas what these can be and if I should be concerned?
Carmie in Lakewood, CA
Shaded south-facing wall in Lakewood, CA
These are not spiders. They are Leaf Footed Bug hatchlings, probably in the genus Leptoglossus. We believe they are most likely Leptoglossus zonatus.
Letter 25 – Leaf Footed Bug Hatchlings
November 19, 2009
Small Red Insects hatching from some type of egg line on a stucco post of my house. I’ve seen these same insects on plants in my yard. What are they? Thanks,
Houston, Texas USA
These are Leaf Footed Bug Hatchlings in the family Coreidae, but we are uncertain of the species. They are also known as Big Legged Bugs because many species have large hind legs. Most Leaf Footed Bugs are plant feeders. There is a photo posted to BugGuide, also from Texas, that looks very close to your specimens. The eggs are barely visible in the upper portion of your photo.
Letter 26 – Leaf Footed Bug from Mexico
Leafy Legged Insect
Location: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
November 16, 2011 6:18 pm
This insect has interesting leaf-like attachments to its rear legs.
You may have unwittingly identified your insect since it is a Leaf Footed Bug in the family Coreidae, and we believe it is Anisoscelis affinis based on images posted to BugGuide. This Mexican species has been reported from southern Texas. Stephanie Sanchez has also photographed them in Broward County Florida based on her Steph’s Virtual Garden: Bugs website.
Letter 27 – Leaf Footed Bug from Brazil
Location: Manaus Amazonas Brasil
February 16, 2012 7:18 pm
Do you know the name of this insect, please ? Does it make sounds ?
Thank you so much
We agree that this True Bug in the order Hemiptera is a Leaf Footed Bug in the family Coreidae, but we need to do additional research to identify the species.
Karl supplies an identification
Hi Daniel and Isabelle:
I believe this Leaf Footed Bug is probably Melucha quinquelineata. I also found this photo on Flickr. I couldn’t find much information other than it has been observed in Amazonia and Panama. Regards. Karl
Letter 28 – Leaf Footed Bug Hatchlings
Subject: Little Red Bugs
June 25, 2012 9:00 am
Can you please tell me what I’ve got. I found 3 shiny copper colored eggs on my tomato leaf. and this is what hatched out. (I guess I starved them in the jar since they all died)
Signature: H G Aiken
Dear H G Aiken,
Immature Hemipterans or True Bugs can be very difficult to properly identify, but we are relatively certain that these are Leaf Footed Bug hatchlings in the family Coreidae, most likely in the genus Acanthocephala.
Here is a photo from BugGuide that supports our identification. According to Dave’s Garden: “Local gardening guru & former extension agent, Walter Reeves, says they are destructive to tomato crops, so this is a negative rating.”
Thank you for your quick response! I’ll keep a close I out for them pretty as the babies are I recognize the older ones.
Letter 29 – Leaf Footed Bug from Costa Rica: Paraphes flavocinctus
Subject: Beetle Costa Rica
Location: costa rica Manuel Antonio
August 7, 2014 2:49 pm
we found it in Manuel Antonio N.P. on march 19, 2014.
Family Coreidae? Miridae?
thanks for your help
Signature: fred from belgium
Dear Fred from Belgium,
In your subject line you imply that this is a Beetle, but in the body of your request you mention the Leaf Footed Bug family Coreidae. The latter is correct. We identified this Leaf Footed Bug as Paraphes flavocinctus on the Quaoar Power Zoo website. We have a previous submission of Paraphes flavocinctus in our archives as well. It is identified as Paryphes flavocinctus on Bio-Nica.
Please Daniel, what’s the correct namen Paraphes or Paryphes?
both are used in literature…
We are not certain which name is more correct and that would probably take input from a Heteropterist or checking older reference books rather than online sources.
oké, thank you!
Letter 30 – Leaf Footed Bug: Catorhintha selector and Immature Kissing Bug
Subject: Is this a kissing bug?
Location: Texas Hill Country
November 26, 2014 2:33 pm
Help! We just moved to the Texas hillcountry and found this big in iur doorway and we’re afraid it’s a kissing bug. It’s belly is light colored and and there appear to be a slight differences in the coloring, the orange line is solid instead of dashes for example. Help us we’re pretty afraid of the possibility of Chagas’ disease.
There is a superficial similarity between the appearance of your Leaf Footed Bug, Catorhintha selector, and a Kissing Bug because they are in the same suborder, Heteroptera, the True Bugs, but unlike the Kissing Bug, your insect is harmless. We identified your Leaf Footed Bug on BugGuide.
Thank you so much! On another note, about 2 hours later we also found this bug (photo attached) in our breakfast area, my husband seems to think it is a kissing bug in the nymph stage from looking it up. Hope we’re wrong about this one too!
Alas, this time we are in agreement with your husband. Though the image lacks critical sharpness, this really does resemble an immature Kissing Bug in the genus Triatoma. You can see the resemblance to this image posted to BugGuide.
Letter 31 – Leaf Footed Bug Hatchlings
Subject: Bright red/orange just hatched
Location: West county, St Louis, MO
May 29, 2016 7:49 am
We found these on a chair outside this morning. They seem to take the shape of an assassin type bug or an ant of some sort. They hatched out of an egg sac about 3 inched long in a straight line.
Hatchlings can be difficult to identify correctly, but we believe these are Leaf Footed Bugs from the family Coreidae.
Letter 32 – Leaf Footed Bug Hatchlings
Subject: Identify insect
Location: Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA
June 6, 2017 10:58 am
Hi, I have a cluster of reddish ant-like insects on the side of my house. Will you please identify them?
These are immature True Bugs and we are pretty certain they are hatchling Leaf Footed Bugs in the family Coreidae. We believe they are in the genus Leptoglossus. Here is a BugGuide image that looks quite similar.
Letter 33 – Leaf Footed Bug from Nepal
Subject: Nepal bug
Location: Lubhu, eastern Kathmandu valley, Nepal
July 25, 2017 7:36 am
This morning (25th July) I found this bug lying outside a friend’s house at Lubhu in the eastern part of Kathmandu valley. It seemed to have lost a wing and was barely alive. I have lived in Nepal for 8 years and never seen an insect like this before and my Nepali friends (who have been in Nepal much longer) didn’t know it either.
Signature: Philip Holmes
Because Nepal is such a small country, we attempted to research Leaf Footed Bugs from the family Coreidae that are found in India, and we located this Alamy image identified as a Dalader species. There is a FlickR image to support that genus identification. Bugs and Insects of Singapore also has an image to support that identification.
Thanks Daniel – that certainly looks the part! The one I found yesterday had a very striking orange back.
Keep up the good work
Letter 34 – Immature Brazilian Leaf Footed Bug
Hello, Mr Bugman!
My name is Antonio. I am from Sao Paulo, Brazil. I took this picture on my backyard. It seems that these colored fellows are enjoying the passionfruits a lot. There are many of these bugs feeding on the fruits. Sometimes they fight against each other for a better place. I would appreciate if you can provide me any information about these insects. Thanks a lot!
This is an immature Leaf Footed Bug or Big Legged Bug in the family Coreidae. Sorry we do not know the species. They have sucking mouthparts that they use to feed. In your case, they are feeding on the juice of the Passionfruit. They release an enzyme that is leaving the brown marks evident on the fruit in one of your images.
Thank you for the information. Based on what you said, it was easy to identify the insect in question. This bug is one of the chief plagues of the passionfruit culture in Brazil. It is the Diactor bilineatus. Although they are considered a plague, I think they are funny and so I keep them as pets on my backyard. Best wishes,
Letter 35 – Heteropteran Eggs and Hatchlings: Probably Coreid Bugs
Some sort of treehopper?
… noticed the eggs on Tuesday, found the hatchlings on Wednesday … cheers,
Rich Parker (Alexandria, VA)
In a very general identification, these are Hemipterans. The Hoppers used to be considered a separate Order, Homoptera, but now Hemiptera and Homoptera are viewed as the same order, Hemiptera, and Heteroptera comprises the old classification and is termed the True Bugs.
These are probably in the Family Coreidae, the Big Legged Bugs or Leaf Footed Bugs but newly hatched specimens are often very difficult to properly identify and we do not recognize the eggs. Perhaps you will be able to provide us with photos of adult specimens in the future which will assist in correct identification. BugGuide has a photo of your eggs, but with the same general identification we have provided.
Letter 36 – Immature Leaf Footed Bug
Los Angeles bug
Location: Los Angeles, CA
July 27, 2010 9:11 pm
I live near Griffith Park in LA and I’m familiar with most of the bugs that stop by my home office. But this dude was new to me. Haven’t found anything similar in Kaufman or Hogue’s guide to LA bugs. The stumpy wings on the top suggest an immature flying bug? Body was about 3/4 inch long.
Sadly, most guide books do not have images of many immature phases of insect metamorphosis. This is an immature Leaf Footed Bug, and it appears that it is a species in the genus Leptoglossus based on photos like this posted to BugGuide.
Thanks Daniel. Do you think it might be an Acanthocephala terminalis?
The third picture on this page of the immature A. terminalis is a close match for my photo.
We are going to stick to Leptoglossus, but as we already stated, nymphs can be difficult to conclusively identify. According to BugGuide, Acanthocephala terminalis, does not range in California. We would favor Leptoglossus clypealis as the species. BugGuide has an image of the adult showing the long proboscis, similar to the proportions of your specimen.
The distinguishing feature mentioned on BugGuide: “A spine extending forwards from the tip of the nose (technically known as the tylus) distinguishes this species” is not clearly visible in your photographs, but that might be because it is immature or it could be the angle of view of your photos.
Letter 37 – Immature Coreid Bugs from Costa Rica: Pachylis pharaonis.
Subject: Giant stink bug Costa Rica
Location: Southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica
January 22, 2015 2:35 pm
These bugs were on a tree in southern Costa Rica on the Pacific coast near Uvita. They were found today, Jan. 22, 2015 at 2 pm. Related to Giant Mesquite Bug? They were between 1.5 and 2 inches in length and they were found beside a dry stream bed.
Signature: Cathy and Lisa
Dear Cathy and Lisa,
We are not certain these immature True Bugs are in the same genus, Thasus, as the Giant Mesquite Bugs, since their colors and markings are different than other images we have seen, but the flattened segment on the antennae are consistent with the genus.
The closest match we can find at this time is this individual from Guatemala that is in our archives. Perhaps your individuals are a regional color variation or a not well documented species.
Letter 38 – Immature Big Legged Bug
Subject: Red and black bug
Location: Spring Hill, FL
April 20, 2015 2:45 am
I found this bug walking around on one of my garbage cans yesterday. I’ve never seen anything like this before and am concerned that it could be dangerous/poisonous to my dog. I’m in central/west FL. It’s been in the mid 80’s for at least a month and a little rainy lately. Also, my garbage cans are kept in the shade.
This is an immature member of the family Coreidae, commonly called Leaf Footed Bugs or Big Legged Bugs, and we believe it is in the genus Acanthocephala based on this BugGuide image. Though many members of this family are considered plant pests in the garden, they are not poisonous or harmful to humans or dogs.
Letter 39 – Immature Big Legged Bug
Subject: Cool bug!
Location: Amelia Island, FL
May 13, 2015 10:44 am
Found this guy this morning on our recycle bin. We live in the North east corner of Florida on Amelia Island. We back up to the Egan’s Creek Greenway so there is always a plethora of cool creatures around (also found a 5 ft garter snake this morning too!)
It is summertime and pretty warm these days. At first I thought it was a spider but upon closer inspection it only has 6 legs and those wild antennae! It’s abdomen is fairly flat. Been looking on the Web but cannot find anything yet…so here you go!
Will see if it is still around and get a different shot if I can!
Thank you much,
This is the nymph of a Big Legged Bug in the genus Acanthocephala.
Thank you much Daniel!! Have a fabulous day!!
Letter 40 – Immature Leaf Footed Bug
Subject: What this bug?
July 16, 2016 4:53 pm
We found this bug on my husbands cruiser. We live in OakRidge TN. The season of course is summer. He became very aggressive when caught and changed colors.
Signature: Christen T.
Letter 41 – A Reader Takes Creative License with our Name: Immature Leaf Footed Bug
Subject: Cannot Google ID this one
Location: Northeasthma Georgia
August 14, 2016 5:43 pm
This guy landed on my windshield. We are in northeast Georgia.
We are wonderfully amused with your playful take on our site’s name. The insect crawling on the window, terrifying the driver of the vehicle is a harmless, immature Leaf Footed Bug, probably in the genus Acanthocephela. Here is a matching image on BugGuide for comparison. Several species in the genus are found in your area.
Letter 42 – Immature Big Legged Bug
Subject: WTB IS IT???!!!
Geographic location of the bug: Pearsall, Texas
Time: 07:53 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Greetings Bugman,
WTB IS THAT ??!!!
Was my similar response by 1 letter.
A friend of mine from where I now reside in California is now in Texas.
He took this photo 5/24/2019 in Pearsall, Texas.
I grew up in Texas and in true tomboy form was an avid “bug collector”.
Many years and in all seasons were spent combing through the grass, foilage, and dirt.
Untold hours were spent in trees, creekside, streamside, in barns, sheds, fields, etc..etc…
I also bug watched in New Mexico, Louisiana, Tennesee, Florida, and finally the California deserts.
I have gotten up close and personal with huge grasshoppers, gargantuan centipedes, massive black scorpions, and black widow spiders, tarantulas (and had a pet one later), made buddies with a wolf spider have been buds with several manti, a walking stick, a few crickets too and even a very special sun spider that bypassed my rare fear of an insect.
I like insects as I do animals, birds, reptiles.
I have never seen a bug like this one in Texas or anywhere else.
Can you educate me in this one?
He is a handsome fellow (or felicia) in warrior’s armor to boot even if pre steel.
I applaud your stand on extermination.
I often say; “even cockroaches are simply trying to clean up OUR mess so who is actually disgusting?
Many thanks to you.
How you want your letter signed: Amie Friederich
Thank you for your highly entertaining submission. This is an immature Big Legged Bug in the genus Acanthocephala, and you can compare your image to this BugGuide image. Adult Big Legged Bugs grow quite large. This genus is not reported from California.
Letter 43 – Immature Big Legged Bug
Subject: Large pink bug
Geographic location of the bug: Champaign, IL
Time: 07:45 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: We found this large pink bug on the car. It’s about the size of a large wolf spider (just a comparison) and made us think of stink bugs but with it being pink instead of brown we did not know what it was. We just took pictures and left it alone.
How you want your letter signed: Big pink big
Dear Big pink big,
In a more general sense, this is a Big Legged Bug nymph in the family Coreidae, and of that we are certain. We are speculating on the genus, but we cannot find visual evidence online. The closest we could find is of a later instar Big Legged Bug nymph, Acanthocephala declivis, pictured on BugGuide, but it is not pink.
Many insects are pale in coloration immediately after molting, like this example of a molting Wheel Bug, and we believe your Big Legged Bug is newly molted, which is why it is pink, and it will soon darken to gray.
Letter 44 – Correction: Feather Legged Assassin Bug from Australia
what is it
Location: Perth Western Australia
November 24, 2010 7:51 pm
Found this bug in the office. none of us know what it is. It was about 1.5cm long and about 1cm wide. it was tapping its fury back things. Can you tell us what bug it is?
We believe it is a Leaf Footed Bug, but it has several features that are unlike any Leaf Footed Bug in the family Coreidae that we are familiar with.
First off, it has antennae that can be described as plumose (see BugGuide on Antennae Forms) and the BugGuide page on Plumose Antennae pictures some examples, but no True Bugs. The enlarged portions of the tibiae also appear to be fringed. We had no luck locating anything even remotely similar on the Brisbane Insect Coreid Page.
Meanwhile we are posting and featuring your unusual insect in the hope that either we or one of our readers will be able to provide an identification for you.
Correction: November 27, 2010
Thanks to a comment by lttlechkn, this fascinating anomaly has been identified as a Feather Legged Assassin Bug or Ant Assassin, Ptilocnemus lemur. Our observations about the unusual morphology of this creature remain because the antennae and tibiae are highly unusual for Assassin Bugs as well as Coreid Bugs.
We apologize profusely to lttlechkn for falsely identifying this as a Leaf Footed Bug which prolonged the actual identification.