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Leaf-Footed Bug (Leptoglossus zonatus)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Leaf-Footed Bug.

 Updated: 2/6/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Leaf-Footed Bugs are moving into and spending more time in backyards and that may mean a bit more work for the gardener.



Like their Eastern counterparts, this species of Leaf-Footed Bug has thick 'thighs' that are flattened out, almost leaf-like in shape. A single white line crosses the middle of the wings in a zig-zag fashion. Two yellow spots riddled with dark specks are found on the pronotum near the head. The young Leptoglossus zonatus has a long mouth part used to pierce plant parts and subsequently suck out the liquid nourishment inside. As an adult, the insect will break down a tough seed using an enzymatic chemical it spits onto it. Leaves, stems, and fruit are all susceptible to the appetite of this species. Though it is unlikely to kill the plant and ruin harvest, it can mar produce aesthetically.

As if on cue, females move from the weeds they usually inhabit during winter and spring into a garden just when fruits and vegetables become ripe. They lay their brown cylindrical eggs in a line on a host plant. End to end, this line of eggs almost looks like a worm. The most common plants that L. zonatus damages are tomatoes, pistachios, pomegranates, satsuma oranges, and almonds. Controlling the number of this species of Leaf-footed Bug by using row covers and removing weeds in the garden area can make vegetable patch infiltration less likely. Removing piles of wood, fallen and empty pomegranates, and fallen tree bark helps eliminate places that adults take shelter in during winter months. Though not considered a serious pest problem, this Leaf-footed Bug does not the farmer or gardener any benefits for its company.
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Coreidae
          Genus: Leptoglossus
            Species: zonatus
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Leptoglossus zonatus
Other Name(s): Western Leaf-Footed Bug (though technically this name has already been assigned a different species)
Category: True Bug
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 20mm (0.59in to 0.78in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, white, yellow, black
Descriptors: stripe, line, zigzag, thick, spiky, thighs, legs, flying, yellow, spots, speckled, shoulder, harmful
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
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Mexico
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.