Leaf-Footed Bug (Acanthocephala spp.)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Leaf-Footed Bug.
Updated: 10/2/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The stout and sturdy Leaf-Footed Bug will fight with males of its own species, but takes flight at the first sign of danger.
The Leaf-Footed Bug has a wide, prominent carapace ('shoulders') that somewhat resembles armor.The males of this large plant-eating family have unusually thick thighs, often edged with spikes. Their lower legs may be shaped somewhat like a dried leaf: irregular and flat. These parts of the leg are used to fight other males in order to win a female to mate with. Click below to see a female laying eggs:
Leaf-Footed Bugs make a loud noise when they fly, or as a means of defense when they are threatened or bothered. A foul odor can also be emitted as a defensive adaptation.
The majority of species are found in the southern United States, but they range across the entire North American continent. Some prefer arid deserts, while others prefer humid, more tropical climes or temperate forests.
All adults feed on plant juices and can be found on a variety of vegetation including prairie plants like Joe-Pye Weed, goldenrods and hawthorns as well as trees and shrubs. Adults will fly away if approached. Larvae feed on ash trees and other plants.