Monday, December 5, 2011

Corralitas Dive: Creepy Bug Found After Windstorm *Identified

Photo: Diane Edwardson, December 2, 2011.  A really interesting 1 1/2-inch long bug was sunning himself on the hood of a car Friday afternoon.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, December 2, 2011.  I've never seen anything like it.  From the shape of its hind legs, it appears well adapted for living in or around oak trees.  The body is somewhat acorn shaped too.  It may live in the leaf litter in oak woodland.  It looks like a well-camouflaged ambush predator

If you can identify this bug, send us an email:

*UPDATE, 12-5-11: Thanks go to a Red Car Property neighbor (who is a regular reader) for identifying it as a species of leaf-footed insect, most likely, Leptoglossus zonatusLeaf footed insects eat flowers and fruit of many fruit, vegetable & field crops including, but not limited to citrus, tomatoes, guava, pomegranates, avocado, melons, corn & cotton.

The State of Florida issued an alert about the pest a few years ago when it first arrived.  There are some excellent photos of the insect on the alert.  It does not yet appear on the State of California's most wanted pests (according to the County of Los Angeles Dept of Agricultural Weights & Measures), but it's well established here. 

See BugGuide for photos of other leaf footed insects.