Monday, July 31, 2017

Leaf-footed Bug Visitor



My bug visitor was unusually shaped, like a slender, upside-down bell, with muscular-looking, long, rear legs. It was nearly monochrome dark. From preliminary research and images, I settled on it being a leaf-footed bug.

From “Leaf-Footed Bugs, Family Coreidae”—“Many members of this family have noticeable leaf-like extensions on their hind tibia, and this is the reason for their common name.” Another good preliminary resource is the Insect Identification site for “Leaf-Footed Bug - (Acanthocephala spp.)”.

A few days ago (about 8 AM), the intriguing bug was on a porch column, unmoving. I left it alone, but took several pictures. After about an hour, I returned, toting my camera and masking tape-backed measuring stick, to see if it was still there. The bug had moved. I aligned the ruler near it and pressed; took a couple of shots. Bug stayed put.

I decided to return after the house shadow would fall across the column for better pictures (around 3 PM). As I set some blank background nearby, the bug started to move! Upward! Out of range of my backdrop! Aha! I would just RECORD it for a little while! Then it froze. I took more pix, then left. About an hour afterward, I looked to see it had left.

Later, for help in identifying the bug, I posted the ruler-accompanied bug picture to my LinkedIn feed, emailed someone who had blogged about a similar-looking bug, and scoured big-picture bug sites. By poring SLOWLY over the big picture sites, I narrowed down my search. It helped to have an idea of the bug I wanted to ID. Good jumping off (ha) sites:
I kept encountering the term “true bug”. From ASU School of Life Sciences site:
The key difference between true bugs and other insects is their mouth parts. … true bugs have specialized mouth parts used to suck juices. … The proboscis of a true bug is not retractable. Insects with movable mouthparts allow them to move food from the source to their mouth. The proboscis of a true bug is more rigid and cannot be rolled up.
Poring more into Google site and image searches, I found several sites that showed bugs with strong resemblances to my visitor.
Although "What’s That Bug" did not include the species name declivis, I found declivis and three other species names (femorata, terminalis, thomasi) in the Bugguide taxonomy tab. Best match for images is delivis.

*** View my video of the leaf-footed bug that was on my porch column, leaving around mid-day. Includes motion footage, a still of it with accompanying measuring stick for size reference. Additional stills capture a seeming heel click and shadow-illusion pushups. Check out the carapace. As it turns out, I’ve been bugged a long time ago, over the same type of bug … in 2005, when I helped a friend move. I have included some of those stills also.

2 comments:

wordconnections said...

A lot of sources use the term "true bug" to single out that group of insects and avoid the confusion inherent in the common English use of "bug" as a synonym of "insect."

whilldtkewriter said...

"Bug" can also refer to crawly animals with more than 6 legs, such as spiders, other arachnids, caterpillars, millipedes, and centipedes. I wrote up a series of "leggy bugs" that stress the leg aspects. (I've learned a lot from the research.) "Bug" is also a common term in technology.

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