Flat, thick legs on the Eastern Leaf-footed Bug are used by males to fight for females during the mating season.
The massive and spiny legs on the Eastern Leaf-footed Bug are unusual for most bugs. The shape of the legs resembles that of a dry leaf. Males fight over females and use their thick thighs and legs to overpower each other. A white stripe across the elytra (wing coverings) contrasts brightly against the dark brown body. Short white stripes on the abdomen peak out from under the sides of the eltyra. A long, narrow head holds sturdy brown antennae. The thorax has pronounced shoulders.
Leaf-footed Bugs are plant eaters. They fly from flower to tree to shrub, making a loud purring noise as they go. They suck the plant sap of whatever they land on. For this reason, they tend to be considered pests to the home gardener as well as among larger agricultural companies. Like all members of the Leaf-Footed family, the Eastern Leaf-footed Bug will emit a foul-smelling odor if threatened or disturbed. Look for them and their tiny colorful nymphs (juveniles) on tree branches, flowers and plant stems.
Scientific Name: Leptoglossus phyllopus
Size (Adult; Length): 18mm to 20mm (0.70in to 0.78in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.