Acanthocephala terminalis

Acanthocephala terminalis is a leaf footed bugs in the family Coreidae. The leaf-footed bugs get their name from the “leaf-like” structure on the hind leg that is reminiscent of a leaf. The bugs are often conspicuous and are well defended by odor glands on the thorax. If disturbed, the bugs are reluctant to drop from the plant or take flight. Typically they will move to the other side of the stem or branch if approached. This can make photographing them challenging.

Acanthocephala terminalis gets its name from the terminal segments of its antennae which are distinctly orange. The tips of its six legs are all a matching orange. I took this picture on the shores of Lake Michigan, just north of Benton Harbor, Michigan. Roland Fountain Hussey, wrote the 1922 book, Hemiptera from Berrien County, Michigan which describes Hemiptera in the unique Dunes area along the shores of Lake Michigan, a site only a few miles South of the location where this picture was taken. Acanthocephala terminalis is common in much of the eastern United States and Hussey found large numbers of them on ash trees. At the time, the immatures were not described. Hussey gives the first description of the larvae in his book.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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5 Responses to Acanthocephala terminalis

  1. Dea says:

    What do these feed on?

  2. jjneal says:

    Like many Hemiptera, they will probe many species of plants. They are reported to feed on hickory, goldenrod, Joe Pye Weed and sumac. They have been observed feeding on bird dropping which may provide additional nutrients. I have never tried to rear them. They are not known pests.

  3. Cathy says:

    Hello I am wondering if they have any natural enemies or poison that works on them as they have infested my balcony where it is hot and there seems to be higher numbers of them each year; they have become my #1 hated bug even more than wasps and wish they would all disappear forever.

  4. Paul Velte says:

    They definitely prefer the sole Arizona Ash tree I have, and congregate there every year to mate or just hang out. I am wondering if they are doing damage to the tree.

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