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Eastern Leaf-footed Bug (Leptoglossus phyllopus)

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

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Image Credit: Lawrence H. from Roebuck, SC
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Image Credit: Lawrence H. from Roebuck, SC
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Flat, thick legs on the Eastern Leaf-footed Bug are used by males to fight for females during the mating season.

Updated: 09/25/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Striped or banded insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Coreidae
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          Genus: Leptoglossus
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            Species: phyllopus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Leptoglossus phyllopus
Category: True Bug
Size (Adult; Length): 18mm to 20mm (0.70" to 0.78")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, white, gray, black
Descriptors: stripe, band, thighs

Eastern-Leaf-Footed-Bug Video(s)

Loads of Eastern Leaf-footed Bugs on a tomato plant.
An Eastern Leaf-footed Bug chillin' on a cherry tomato.

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 18mm (0.7in) and 20mm (0.8in)
Lo: 18mm
Md: 19mm
Hi: 20mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Eastern Leaf-footed Bug may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Eastern Leaf-footed Bug. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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