The hefty Leaf-footed Bug has a wide, prominent carapace (shoulder region) that somewhat resembles armor. The males of this large, plant-eating family have unusually thick thighs, often edged with spikes. Their lower legs may also be flat and shaped somewhat like a dried leaf. These parts of the leg are used to fight other males in order to win a female to mate with. Leaf-Footed Bugs may be heard when they fly. A foul odor can also be emitted as a defensive adaptation. Adults fly very well, and dash away if approached.
Nymphs feed on ash trees and other plants. They have flared and spiky abdomens that may curl upward when approached. Without wings at this younger life stage, they resemble the nymphs of Assassin Bugs.
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 on trees and shrubs.
General Characteristics Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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.