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Western Leaf-footed Bug (Leptoglossus clypealis)

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

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The Western Leaf-footed Bug goes crazy for some of the healthiest and most popular nuts on the market.

Updated: 01/06/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Despite its name, the Western Leaf-footed Bug has a reach that covers more than half of the continent. The bright zigzag stripe across its 'waist' looks like a belt, making it a great feature for identification. A small spine at the front of the head is also distinctive. The hind legs are longer than the front pairs and have small spines on them. The lower part of each back leg has a flat and wafer-like tibia with a small light mark on one side. The areas above and below the tibia are yellow. Black and yellow bands border both sides of the abdomen. This species can produce a detectable odor in defense of a threat or attack.

Western Leaf-footed Bugs are herbivores, feeding on the buds and nuts of various shrubs and trees. Pistachio and almond trees are popular food sources, making this insect a pest in orchards. They are also fond of trees and shrubs in the Juniper family and can sometimes have a population explosion in areas where many of them grow. They are also called Juniper Bugs.

Look for Western Leaf-footed Bugs in woodlands and orchards. They may be found in large numbers on a single bush or tree. In the cold winter months, adults seek shelter under insulating leaf litter. Two to four generations can be produced each year.©InsectIdentification.org

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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: clypealis

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Leptoglossus clypealis
Other Name(s): Juniper Bug
Category: True Bug
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 18mm (0.59" to 0.70")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; white; yellow; red
Descriptors: zigzag; stripe; flat thighs; pointy shoulders; spine head

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 15mm (0.6in) and 18mm (0.7in)
Lo: 15mm
Md: 16.5mm
Hi: 18mm

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 Western 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 Western Leaf-footed Bug. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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