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Leaf-footed Bug - L. oppositus (Leptoglossus oppositus)

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

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Leaf-footed Bug have flattened 'thighs', not feet, that are shaped like leaves, complete with serrated edges.

Updated: 07/06/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Leptoglossus oppositus is a species of Leaf-footed Bug found mostly in the eastern part of the continent as well as south into Central America. Adults are a reddish brown and have a white dot at the center of the wings. Two other white dots further down form a triangular 'constellation' on the dorsal (back) side. These dots may be remnants of what almost became a white band crossing the mid-section (seen on some of its relatives). The legs of this insect get most of the attention, however, thanks to their peculiar shape. Flat and oblong, the lower leg (tibia) is edged in a spiky scallop. It has the appearance of a small dry leaf, hence the descriptive common name. The edge of the upper leg ('thigh') is also lined with small serrated 'teeth'. These are used to fight with other males over females. Leaf-footed Bugs can release a stinky secretion as a defensive mechanism if threatened.

Juveniles look like smaller, short-winged versions of adults. This species feeds on, and is fond of, the pods that grow on catalpa trees, an American genus of trees that is common in the South. Also called Catawba, Indian bean trees, and Southern Catalpa, these trees grow long skinny fruit shaped like green beans. Leptoglossus oppositus uses it mouth parts to pierce the pod and drink plant juices, though it is not considered a pest.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Patterned insect icon
Spiny / Spiky 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: oppositus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Leptoglossus oppositus
Category: True Bug
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 20mm (0.59" to 0.78")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, white
Descriptors: dots, flying, thighs, legs, thick, scalloped, spiny

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 15mm (0.6in) and 20mm (0.8in)
Lo: 15mm
Md: 17.5mm
Hi: 20mm
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 - L. oppositus 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 - L. oppositus. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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