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Muscular bug - Acanthocephala femorata - male

Muscular bug - Acanthocephala femorata - Male
Gainesville, Florida, USA
October 23, 2004
I haven't seen one with such 'muscular' 'thighs' before.

Great photo of an interesting
Great photo of an interesting creature! I wonder what the evolutionary "purpose" of the pumped up thigh is? It is similar to the leaf-shaped thighs in some other species, but this one doesn't really look like it would pass for a leaf to a sharp-eyed bird.


Stephen Cresswell
Buckhannon, WV

Check out discussion at

Thanks - very helpful!
I think perhaps this is Acanthocephalus femorata, as it has both the 'pumped-up' thighs and the shin-pads.

Entomologists everywhere are probably rolling in their graves at my lack of proper terminology!

I agree on A. femorata
The uniformly reddish antennae rules out A. confraterna and terminalis, and the gently tapered flange on the hind tibia, plus the lack of huge humeral angles rules out A. declivis (see Guide page). The only other North American species (A. thomasi) doesn't occur in Florida.
Photo moved to species page from Acanthocephala section.

Acanthocephala male
If this is a pretty large insect, then it is indeed an Acanthocephala. Males have those huge, spiked thighs. They do battle with them over the females of course! Several of the coreid bugs do that, in fact. I have found some really battered males that got their wings shredded during combat.

Yes, it was big
I initially found it due to the loud noise it made flying past my head!

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