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Leaf-footed Bug - C. tabulata (Chelinidea tabulata)

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

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Image Credit: Manzeal Khanal, taken in TX
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Image Credit: Manzeal Khanal, taken in TX
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Commonly found on prickly pear, this plant bug has big legs and can emit strong odor.

Updated: 01/04/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
This species of Leaf-footed Bug is light brown with a flared side ridge that has pale stripes along the edges. The wings are dark and overlap each other, laying flat on the body with the lower half exposed. The lower part of the leg is flattened and wide, but not to the extent of other bugs of its kind. Small spikes dot along the edge. Antennae are similar in color to the legs and also thick. The thorax is slightly pointed at the ?shoulder caps?. It is a strong flier and may be audible when in flight. It can also emit a detectable odor when threatened or handled. Nymphs, or juveniles, are light green and flat with a wide body. They may be found on the same cactus with a few other nymph or possibly adults.

Prickly pear cactus is a host plant for this bug, and it can be found where the cactus grows. Though it is only found in Mexico and the southwestern part of the U.S., its range expands farther south into Central America as well. It uses its mouthparts to suck juices from the plant. While this feeding habit does not hurt the cactus, it can ruin the aesthetic of the plant and its fruit by discoloring it.©InsectIdentification.org

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


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Coreidae
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          Genus: Chelinidea
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            Species: tabulata
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Chelinidea tabulata
Category: True Bug
Size (Adult; Length): 12mm to 16mm (0.47" to 0.62")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; black; tan; green
Descriptors: thick antennae; thick legs; flattened legs; wide thighs; side stripes; shoulder caps; flying; prickly pear bug

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 12mm (0.5in) and 16mm (0.6in)
Lo: 12mm
Md: 14mm
Hi: 16mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Leaf-footed Bug - C. tabulata 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 Leaf-footed Bug - C. tabulata. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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