May 12, 2020
This insect with the orange highlights is Acanthocephala terminalis, a leaf-footed bug belonging to the family Coreidae. Leaf-footed bugs get their name from the way the hind legs of many species in the family flare out and resemble leaves; it's less dramatic on this particular species, but you can still see how the rear legs are flared out a bit.
Leaf-footed bugs generally feed on sap by injecting their needle-like mouthparts into the soft tissue of a plant. If you've ever grown squash, cucumbers, or pumpkins, you might have had to deal with "squash bugs," little tiny gray bugs that suck the juices from the plant and can cause damage in large numbers. These insects are Anasa tristis, which is a member of the same family as leaf-footed bugs.
Fortunately, you don't have too much to worry about with this particular species of leaf-footed bug; they tend to prefer sucking the sap from plants that aren't of any particular agriculture importance. #BenInNature
NEW! If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture and we'll have our experts help you identify it!
About this post: Social distancing can be difficult, but the next few weeks present a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. While he is working from home, Administrator of Science Ben Williams is venturing outdoors each day to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world.
This post brought to you by VMNH Corporate Supporter Bassett Furniture.