Finishing the Set

A few months ago I posted photos of two different nymph instars of leaf footed bugs in the genus Leptoglossus. Until the cold that finally came this past week here in southwestern Louisiana, the adults were all over town (several local friends asked me about them on Facebook). This gave me the opportunity to finally complete my set of photos as well as use this key to determine the species: these guys are Leptoglossus fulvicornis.


An adult leaf-footed bug, Leptoglossus fulvicornis

If my identification is correct, and given the straightforwardness of the key I am confident in it despite the fact that I am not a Hemiptera expert by any means, this would be the first record of this species from Louisiana on BugGuide: my first new state record! Now, there are many IDed to genus only from Louisiana, so it is more than likely someone else did post one, but I am happy to take credit anyways! This species ranges across eastern North America, from Ontario to Florida to Texas, so it is certainly expected to be here.


Three stages of Leptoglossus fulvicornis

Lining up my photos reminds me of a set of Pokemon. Something about the transition in shapes and colors in the intermediate instar between the early instar and the adult draws comparisons to many 3-stage Pokemon. After all, Pokemon creator Ken Sugimori was inspired to create the series by childhood insect collecting!

EDIT: Sadly, I have found out that the adult that I photographed is actually Acanthocephala declivis, a different coreid. I foolishly assumed this individual was a member of Leptoglossus and followed the key from there, I suppose that is a lesson in what happens when one assumes. Now, even more than before, I am determined to find an adult L. fulvicornis so that I can truly finish the set!


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