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newborn bug - Acanthocephala

newborn bug - Acanthocephala
Gainesville, Florida, USA
May 6, 2004
Size: ~ 5-10 mm
I took this picture on the day it hatched - I had been observing the pearly eggs (four, on a larkspur plant) for a while, and when they developed what looked like eyes I checked daily and was lucky to find the tiny babies still hanging around. If anyone can ID I have photos of the eggs too.

Images of this individual: tag all
newborn bug - Acanthocephala leaf-footed bug eggs - Acanthocephala leaf-footed bug eggs - Acanthocephala leaf-footed bug eggs - Acanthocephala

Moved from Leaffooted Bugs.

Probably a Coreid bug nymph
At this early stage it is always hard to tell, but I'd venture it is another nymphal "leaf-footed bug" in the family Coreidae. The beak would be a giveaway. Assassin bug nymphs, even tiny ones, have a very obvious SHORT, stout beak. Coreids, and other plant-feeding bugs,have the beak tucked flat under the "chin," and thus pretty obscured.

I can tell you more about the beak
In another photo I took the same day it is clear that the beak is tucked under the body and extends to approximately the end of the thorax. It seems to me this would not be considered short, so I'm sure you're right and it's a plant-feeder.

Can you suggest any good references on this family? I have several unidentified images of similar looking species.


Hannah N-M

have same one...
Hi Hannah,

I too have been trying to get a definite i.d. on this bug. In the past I have reared the leaf-footed bugs (Coreidae) when I find a nymph outdoors and keep it for awhile - they like to eat my jade plant leaves! I had not gotten one as a newborn nymph until today. I was going to post my photo but when I found yours (which is much clearer) figured I would carry on this thread.

This one came from the pearly/irridescent single egg. I have found these often when I collect food for my lepidoptera that I rear, I have always broken off the leaf and left it behind. Well, this year I decided to bring one in and sure enough, just this morning I found this adorable little creature. I do think it is a leaf-footed rather than assassin mainly due to the mouthpart, which as you said, tucks under the body in its groove. However, there are SOME that will feed on insects. I need to figure this one out b/c this year I am sleeving some of my leps outside and may accidentally enclose one of these eggs with some luna or other larvae and if it is one that preys on insects...well, you can figure out the rest! :(

I have a couple sites on this family:

Anything you learn I would appreciate knowing!


For what it's worth, I have a theory.
Over the course of two years of pretty close observation and documentation of my backyard, I have photographed only two Coreidae genera, Leptoglossus and Acanthocephala. That's one reason I now very strongly suspect that this is a newborn Acanthocephala. (Leptoglossus nymphs I have photographed have an entirely different look).

Further evidence that points me in that in that direction:
a) I've noticed Acanthocephala often have a lot of red coloration immediately after a molt, and
b) the border to the abdomen of this little one is a close match to this older Acanthocephala nymph (below), photographed in my back yard a few weeks later.

I'm still wondering about this one
and probably my best chance of an ID is if I happen to find an adult which shares some of its characteristics. I have eliminated Leptoglossus phyllopus because I know what those nymphs look like, but otherwise the field is pretty wide open. If you rear it successfully I'd love to see how it turns out! Hannah N-M

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