Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

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Photo by JoAnne Marshall

Leptoglossus clypealis Heidemann, 1910
(Heteroptera: Pentatomomorpha: Coreidae)

Photo by Barbara Harris

If you have information about large aggregations of these insects, please drop me an email.

This leaf-footed bug occurs in many areas of the southern and western United States (including at least: Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah). The species is readily identified using the key in McPherson et al. (1990). The distinctive feature of this species is the markedly elongate clypeus, an anterior extension off of the head.

Dorsal view of body.

Detail of white band on corium.

Ventral view of body.

Head and thorax. Note clypeus extending out as a spine, distinctive for this species.

Head closeup showing clypeus.

Hind leg, showing expanded tibea (the "leaf" in "leaf-footed bug).

Although it may occur in large numbers, this species is normally not a serious pest. It can, however, damage pistachio and almond seeds when populations are large. Populations are normally controlled by the parasitic wasp Gryon sp. (an egg parasite of the leaf-footed bug).

Large numbers of Leptoglossus clypealis on a palm frond near Palm Springs, California.
Photo by JoAnne Marshall

(awaiting permission to use photo)
Large numbers of Leptoglossus clypealis on side of a house near Palm Springs, California.
Photo courtesy of the Hi-Desert Star.

Leptoglossus clypealis in a Joshua Tree.
Photo by Barbara Harris

Residents from communities near Palm Springs, California, have reported these insects in large numbers on Palms and Joshua Trees, with lesser accumulations on pines, cedars and yuccas. One resident noted that birds were absent from heavily infested Joshua Trees, where the birds had formerly been abundant. Another resident noted that their neighbor litteraly was shoveling L. clypealis from their garage after application of an insecticide.

According to Mitchell (2004) Botryosphaeria blight, a disease of pistachio, may find its' way into the plant through areas damaged by the feeding activity of large Heteroptera, including Leptoglossus clypealis. Michailides et al. (1998) demonstrated that, at least in cage trials, the fungus can be transmitted by these insects.

Possibly Leptoglossus clypealis in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo by Greg Hume.

Selected Literature Pertaining to Leptoglossus

McPherson, J. E., R. J. Packauskas, S. J. Taylor, and M. F. O'Brien. 1990. Eastern range extension of Leptoglossus occidentalis with a key to Leptoglossus species of America north of Mexico (Heteroptera: Coreidae). The Great Lakes Entomologist 23(2):99-104.

Get pdf reprint - includes key to species of continental US (584 kb)

Michailides, T.J., D.P. Morgan & D. Felts. 1998. Spread of Botryosphaeria dothidea in central California pistachio orchards. Acta Hort. 470: 582-591.

Mitchell, P.L. 2000. Leaf-Footed Bugs (Coreidae). In: Schaefer, C.W. and A.R. Panizzi, eds. Heteroptera of economic importance. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla. pp. 337-403.

Mitchell, P. L. Heteroptera as vectors of plant pathogens. Neotrop. Entomol. [online]. Sept./Oct. 2004, vol.33, no.5 [cited 04 October 2005], p.519-545. Available from World Wide Web: ISSN 1519-566X.
Or get a PDF version here.

Packauskas, R.J. and C.W. Schaefer. 2001. Clarification of some taxonomic problems in Anisoscelini and Leptoscelini (Hemiptera: Coreidae: Coreinae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 103:249-256.

Bac to Coreidae.
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This page is maintained by Steve Taylor. Please email with comments and corrections.
Created 6 October 2005, last modified 26 October 2009.