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Large Arizona bug - Acanthocephala thomasi

Large Arizona bug - Acanthocephala thomasi
Garden Canyon, Ft. Huachuca, Cochise County, Arizona, USA
October 21, 2004
This bug was about 2 inches long, including antennae. Could this be an assassin bug or close relative?


Loren and Babs Padelford
Bellevue, NE

giant agave bug
I recently found a giant agave bug but it was not in texas, arizona, or california. It was in eastern Tennessee up on a mountain. I took several photographs of it up close and I comfirmed that it was a giant agave bug. I just thought someone should know.

Can you post
the photos you took, along with the location?

Leaf-footed Bug, Acanthocephala confraterna
I don't know if other species occur in Arizona but according to the key to Florida species of Acanthocephala near the bottom of this page:
the antennae of A. femorata are uniformly reddish, whereas in A. confraterna, only the tips are reddish, as in your photo. Another species, A. terminalis, also has red-tipped antennae but in that species, the flanges on the hind tibiae do not extend full length (as they do in your photo), and the fore & mid tibiae are not reddish. See photos at:
All of the A. terminalis individuals I've seen look frail and skinny compared to the bug in your photo, whose hind femora seem especially meaty. Photos of A. terminalis (misidentified as A. confraterna) are at:

Giant Agave Bug
It turns out that another species does occur in Arizona, and it's A. thomasi. In your photo, the flange on the hind tibia is virtually parallel-sided right to the tip of the tibia, whereas in A. confraterna, the flange narrows distally, and in A. terminalis, the flange is also tapered and doesn't reach the tip.
A. declivis can be ruled out because it has greatly expanded humeral angles, and A. femorata can be ruled out because it has entirely pale reddish antennae - not black with a bright orange tip, as in your photo. Moved to Guide page.

Thanks for all the comments on this photo. I agree that it is Acanthocephala confraterna, based on the reference given by Robin.

Loren Padelford
Bellevue, NE

Plant Bug
I was just looking through Insects That Feed On Trees and Shrubs, Johnson & Lyon and found what looks like a match; Acanthocephala femorata.

Looks like a plant bug of the
Looks like a plant bug of the genus Acanthocephala... check out
Not sure of the species however...

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