Other Common Names
Big-footed or Big-legged Plant Bugs, Spine-headed Bugs
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
our fauna reviewed in(1)
is mentioned but not covered there)
Explanation of Names
Greek akanth- 'thorn/spine' + kephale 'head' (refers to the spine on the front of the head)
is also a phylum of parasitic worms
5 spp. in our area; 27 total(2)
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.
New World, mostly neotropical(2)
; in our area, e. NA & so. US as follows:
TX (BG data; no published records?)
VA-FL to MO-AR-AZ(1)
NC-FL to KS-TX(1)
ON-FL to NE-CO-TX(1)(3)
Deciduous forests, fields, etc.
our only representative of the New World tribe Acanthocephalini Stål 1870, that contains ~100 spp. in 15 genera(2)
(metatibial expansion generally shorter and often wider)