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Genus Acanthocephala

Assassin Bug? - Hemiptera - Acanthocephala terminalis Leaf-footed Bug Nymph - Acanthocephala Bug on Cactus - Acanthocephala thomasi Acanthocephala femorata ? - Acanthocephala femorata - female Hungry Bug - Acanthocephala terminalis Acanthocephala declivis Golden eggs of Leaf footed bug - Acanthocephala
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
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
our fauna reviewed in(1) (A. alata is mentioned but not covered there)
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 phylum of parasitic worms
Numbers
5 spp. in our area; 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 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(2); in our area, e. NA & so. US as follows:
A. alata TX (BG data; no published records?)
A. declivis VA-FL to MO-AR-AZ(1)
A. femorata NC-FL to KS-TX(1)
A. terminalis ON-FL to NE-CO-TX(1)(3)
A. thomasi CA-TX(1)
Habitat
Deciduous forests, fields, etc.
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.Checklist of the Hemiptera of Canada and Alaska
Maw, H.E.L., R.G. Foottit, K.G.A. Hamilton and G.G.E. Scudder. 2000. NRC Research Press.