Two days ago biology Professor Ron Beecham walked into my office with a truly magnificent specimen - a Leaf-footed bug. For once I get to use the term "bug" as it should be used, because this insect belongs to Order Hemiptera - the true bugs. Technically, this is the only order of insects that should be called bugs.
This was such an interesting specimen that I took too many images to post in one blog, so I am going to post it in two parts.
The "half-wing" designation is obvious in the picture below - the forward pair of wings have a thicken base and are more membrane-like toward the tip. This makes the wings look like they are half covered.
This bug belongs to family Coreidae - the leaf-footed bugs. According to Peterson's Field guide to Insects "This is a large group, and most of its members are relatively large bugs. . . . Some are plant feeders and others are predaceous. . . . Coreids often give off an unpleasant odor when handled."
I can definitely attest to that last statement!!
The following images were takien on a dissecting scope with a digital camera attached.
Here is a closer look at the characteristic that places this insect in Order Hemiptera
Here you can see the flattened extension at the distal end of the hind legs. Why is it there? What comes to mind is that it might be used by the insect to control its flight. That would be an interesting premise to test.
A close up of the dorsal side of the head. The two compound eyes are obvious as are the two red simple eyes.
Below is a mosaic of several images pieced together to show the entire insect. It was way too big to see at one time with the scope.