ARTHROPOD MUSEUM NOTES
Number 47 • August 16, 2006 • Jeffrey K. Barnes
A common leaf-footed bug
Order: Hemiptera: Heteroptera
Genus and species: Acanthocephala terminalis (Dallas)
Acanthocephala terminalis is readily recognized by the distinctive shape of the leaf-like dilation of its hind tibia. It is frequently encountered in Arkansas, where it can be seen resting and walking on vegetation, especially trees and shrubs along woodland margins and in weedy fields. Nymphs and adults suck sap from various plants, but unlike some relatives such as the squash bug, they are not pestiferous and do not harm cultivated plants. Although they have been observed on many species of plants, they have been reported as definitely feeding on only staghorn sumac, river grape, and nine-bark. In the laboratory, they have been reared on green beans, although nymphal mortality was high. The bugs have been frequently observed on bird droppings, and laboratory studies suggest they probe the droppings with their mouthparts, but it is not known whether or not they actually ingest any of the material. These bugs have one generation per year. Adults pass the winter. Eggs are produced in late spring and early summer. There are five nymphal instars.