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.
Thank you!
Signature: Lise Leger

Heliconia Bug
Heliconia Bug

Dear Lise,
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.
Thanks again!

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