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Genus Acanthocephala

An Assassin? - Acanthocephala terminalis Leaf-Footed Bug - Acanthocephala terminalis bugs - Acanthocephala terminalis - male - female Acanthocephala sp - Acanthocephala Acanthocephala terminalis Crab legs black with Red Eyes - Acanthocephala terminalis Kissing Bug? - Acanthocephala declivis Bug - Acanthocephala terminalis
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
5 spp. in our area (BG data); 27 total(1)
Size
20-30 mm
Identification
Large, dark brown to black; tylus laterally flattened and prominently pointed.
Any Acanthocephala found north of NC-OK is likely to be A. terminalis (although A. declivis seems to be extending its range north).
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(1); in our area, e. NA & so. US as follows:(2)
A. alata, TX to Central America;
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(1)
See Also
Leptoglossus (metatibial expansion generally shorter and often wider)
Works Cited
1.Livermore L.J.R., Lemaître V.A., Dolling W.R., Webb M.D. Coreoidea species file online. Version 5.0
2.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.