Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Fall Fund Drive

TaxonomyBrowse
Info
ImagesLinksBooksData

Genus Acanthocephala

Agave bug - Acanthocephala thomasi nymph - Acanthocephala terminalis Leaf-footed bug - Acanthocephala terminalis Acanthocephala terminalis Black Bug on Fountain, Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary - Acanthocephala terminalis Leaf-footed Bug - Acanthocephala terminalis Acanthocephala terminalis Acanthocephala femorata? - Acanthocephala declivis
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Suborder Heteroptera (True Bugs)
Infraorder Pentatomomorpha
Superfamily Coreoidea (Leatherbugs)
Family Coreidae (Leaf-footed Bugs)
Subfamily Coreinae
Tribe Acanthocephalini
Genus Acanthocephala
Other Common Names
Big-footed or Big-legged Plant Bug
Explanation of Names
Acanthocephala LaPorte 1833
Greek akanth- 'thorn/spine' + kephale 'head' (refers to the spine on the front of the head). (Acanthocephala is also a taxon of parasitic worms)
Numbers
4 spp. in our area(1), 27 total(2)
Size
20-30 mm
Identification
Large, dark brown to black; tylus laterally flattened and prominently pointed.
Any Acanthocephala found north of NC-OK must be A. terminalis.
Key to all our spp. except for A. thomasi is here.
Note: In states other than AZ, CA, FL, GA, and TX there are only three species to choose from. They may be eliminated easily if compared in this order: A. declivis has a distinctive right-angled hind leg flange and broad pronotum, A. femorata has uniformly red antennae, and A. terminalis has red-tipped antennae.
  
Range
New World, mostly neotropical(2); in our area, e. NA & so. US as follows:(3)
A. declivis NC-FL-AZ;
A. femorata NC-FL-TX-OK;
A. terminalis se. Canada to FL west to CO-TX;
Habitat
Deciduous forests, fields, etc.
Season
Summer into fall
Remarks
our only representative of the New World tribe Acanthocephalini Stål 1870, that contains ~100 spp. in 15 genera(2)
See Also
Leptoglossus (metatibial expansion generally shorter and often wider)
Works Cited
1.Review of Acanthocephala (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Coreidae) of America north of Mexico with a key to species
McPherson J.E., Packauskas R.J., Sites R.W., Taylor S.J., Bundy C.S., Bradshaw J.D., Mitchell P.L. 2011. Zootaxa 2835: 30-40.
2.Livermore L.J.R., Lemaître V.A., Dolling W.R., Webb M.D. Coreoidea species file online. Version 5.0
3.Coreidae of Florida (Hemiptera, Heteroptera).
Baranowski, R.M. and J.A. Slater. 1986. Arthropods of Florida and Neighboring Land Areas. Vol. 12, no. 630. viii + 82 pp.