This tool is part of the Citrus Resource

Citrus Pests

 

Leaf-footed bug

 

Scientific name

 

Leptoglossus species (Hemiptera: Coreidae)

Other common names

 

The species of interest that we are including are:

citron bug, L. gonagra

leaf-footed bug, L. phyllopus

leaf-footed plant bug, L. australis

western leaf-footed bug, L. zonatus

Similar species

 

other leaf-footed bugs, Leptoglossus spp.

Distribution

 

United States

  • citron bug, L. gonagra - southern United States including Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and Missouri. Also found in Hawaii.
  • leaf-footed bug, L. phyllopus - widespread with the exception of the extreme northeastern and northwestern states.
  • leaf-footed plant bug, L. australis - not known to occur in the United States
  • western leaf-footed bug, L. zonatus - Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Texas.

Worldwide

  • citron bug, L. gonagra - Cape Verde Islands, the Caribbean, Central America, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Pacific Islands, Papau New Guinea, and South America.
  • leaf-footed bug, L. phyllopus - Central America, Mexico, and South America.
  • leaf-footed plant bug, L. australis - Africa, India, Australia, Southeast Asia, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and South Pacific Islands.
  • western leaf-footed bug, L. zonatus - Central America, South America.

Native Range

  • citron bug, L. gonagra - not reported.
  • leaf-footed bug, L. phyllopus is native to the southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America.
  • leaf-footed plant bug, L. australis is native to tropical and sub-tropical regions of Africa, India, Australia, Southeast Asia, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and South Pacific Islands.
  • western leaf-footed bug, L. zonatus is native to the southwestern United States, Central America, and the northern half of South America.

Diagnostic characteristics

 
Adults
  • 20 mm (0.79 in.) in length.
  • Dark brown to black.
  • Wings lay flat and straight back.
  • Antennae have 4 segments.
  • Four-segmented piercing-sucking beak (rostrum).
  • Males have enlarged, flattened leg segments above their 3-segmented feet (tarsi). The hind leg segments ( tibiae) appear leaf-like.
  • Leathery forewings in many species bear a white or pale yellow stripe, zigzag, or series of dots.

Citron bug, L. gonagra - yellow edge on the front margin of the middle body segment ( thorax); even, longitudinal yellow stripes on the underside of the abdomen.

Leaf-footed bug, L. phyllopus - distinctive, broad, white band straight across the rear of the forewings; top of the abdomen has various amounts of orange coloration noticeable when wings are raised.

Leaf-footed plant bug, L. australis - distinctive reddish-orange or yellow curved band on the anterior of the pronotum; somewhat elongate body; head is shorter and narrower than the pronotum.

Western leaf-footed bug, L. zonatus - two large whitish-yellow spots on the front of the top middle body segment ( pronotum); broad, white band containing a zigzag pattern transversely across the forewings.

Immatures
  • Five nymphal instars.
  • The shape resembles adults, but the leaf-like tibiae do not appear until nearly mature.
  • Color varies with species.

Citron bug, L. gonagra - bright red early instars with black appendages; last two instars are dull brown.

Leaf-footed bug, L. phyllopus - reddish with black appendages.

Leaf-footed plant bug, L. australis - reddish early instars and distinctive leaf-like hind tibiae appear in the third instar. Fourth instars develop yellow and black markings, and the fifth instar is dark brown to black.

Western leaf-footed bug, L. zonatus - red with black appendages.

Eggs

Hemi-cylindrical.

Citron bug, L. gonagra - 1.4 mm (less than 0.1 in.) long; bright green initially; turns brown during incubation.

Leaf-footed bug, L. phyllopus - 1.8 mm (less than 0.1 in.) long; golden brown.

Leaf-footed plant bug, L. australis - 1.8 mm (less than 0.1 in.) long; pale brown.

Western leaf-footed bug, L. zonatus - 1.47 mm (less than 0.1 in.) long; bright green initially; turns brown during incubation.

Hosts

 
Citrus hosts

Citron bug, L. gonagra

  • citron, Citrus medica
  • common mandarins (including clementine and tangerine), Citrus reticulata
  • sweet orange, Citrus sinensis

Leaf-footed bug, L. phyllopus

  • common mandarins (including clementine and tangerine), Citrus reticulata
  • satsuma Mandarin, Citrus unshiu
  • sweet orange, Citrus sinensis

Leaf-footed plant bug, L. australis

  • Potentially all Citrus species and their hybrids.

Western leaf-footed bug, L. zonatus

  • grapefruit, Citrus paradisi
  • Mexican (or Key) lime, Citrus aurantifolia
  • sweet orange, Citrus sinensis
Non-citrus hosts

The genus Leptoglossus is polyphagous and attacks many weeds as well as economically-important crops. A partial list of host plants for each species of interest is included below.

Citron bug, L. gonagra

  • bitter gourd, Momordica charantia
  • Brazillian guava, Psidium guineense
  • guava, Psidium guajava
  • passion fruit, Passiflora edulis
  • pomegranate, Punica granatum
  • pumpkin, Cucurbita maxima

Leaf-footed bug, L. phyllopus

  • annual sowthistle, Sonchus oleraceus
  • apple, Malus domestica
  • beggarweed, Desmodium tortuosum
  • crepe myrtle, Lagerstroemia indica
  • Crotalaria spp.
  • elderberry, Sambucus canadensis
  • Gladiolus spp.
  • goldenrod, Solidago virgaurea
  • Hibiscus spp.
  • Ixora spp.
  • jimsonweed, Datura stramonium
  • Ligustrum spp.
  • oat, Avena sativa
  • pear, Pyrrus spp.
  • pecan, Carya illinoiensis
  • persimmon, Diospyros spp.
  • pomegranate, Punica granatum
  • Punica granatum (preferred)
  • thistle, Cirsium spp.
  • watermelon, Citrullus lanatus

Leaf-footed plant bug, L. australis-

  • bitter gourd, Momordica charantia
  • coffee, Coffea arabica
  • cashew, Anacardium occidentale
  • squash, Cucurbita spp.
  • granadilla, Adenia hondala
  • oil palm, Elaeis guineensis
  • passionfruit, Passiflora edulis
  • peanut or groundnut, Arachis hypogaea
  • rice, Oryza sativa
  • snake gourd, Trichosanthes cucumerina
  • sweet potato, Ipomoea batatas
  • Theobroma bicolor
  • yam, Dioscorea alata

Western leaf-footed bug, L. zonatus-

  • avocado, Persea americana
  • bean, Phaseolus vulgaris
  • bell pepper, Capsicum annuum
  • blackberry, Rubus spp.
  • blueberry, Vaccinium spp.
  • Chinese tallow, Tibulus terrestris
  • corn, Zea mays
  • cotton, Gossypium hirsutum
  • cowpea, Vigna unguiculata
  • eggplant, Solanum melongena
  • loquat, Eriobotrya japonica
  • lychee, Litchi chinensis
  • melon, Cucumis spp.
  • okra, Abelmoschus esculentus
  • peach, Prunus persica
  • plum, Prunus spp.
  • pomegranate, Punica granatum
  • sorghum, Sorghum spp.
  • spiny thistle, Cirsium horridulum
  • squash, Cucurbita spp.
  • sunflower, Helianthus annuus
  • tomato, Solanum esculentum (preferred)

Host damage

 
Fruits
  • Color changes or spotting, collapsed pulp, empty seeds, or dark hardening at feeding sites.
  • May cause the fruit be deformed or drop.
Leaves

Twigs

  • Browning and withering of stems.

Biology

 

Eggs are deposited in single rows on foliage or stem tissue and hatch in 5 - 7 days. Nymphs develop through five instars in 25 - 30 days. These insects overwinter as adults. Leaf-footed bugs have a habit of aggregating into large colonies; one tree may be swarming with them while a neighboring tree is entirely free of infestation. Adults have scent glands and when they are disturbed can emit a distinctive, sharp odor. Early instars are believed to have a preference for wild hosts. Most often, it is the adults that attack ripening fruit.

References

 

Buss, L.J., S.E. Halbert, and S.J. Johnson. 2005. Leptoglossus zonatus - A new leaf-footed bug in Florida (Hemiptera: Coreidae). (http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi/enpp/ento/l.zonatus.html).

Eberling, W. 1959. Subtropical fruit pests. University of California, Division of Agriculture Sciences.

Henne, D.C., and S.J. Johnson. 2003. Pest status of leaf-footed bugs (Heteroptera: Coreidae) on Citrus in Louisiana. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 116: 240-241. (http://www.fshs.org/Proceedings/Password%20Protected/2003%20v.%20116/240-241.pdf).

Hill, D.S. 2008. Pests of crops in warmer climates and their control. Springer Publishing.

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: 99-104. (http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/~sjtaylor/pdf/GtLakesEnt23p99.pdf).

Mead, F.W. 1971. Leaffooted bug, Leptoglossus phyllopus (Linnaeus) (Hemiptera: Coreidae). Entomol. EENY-72. Fla. Dept. Agric. Consumer Svcs, Div. Plant Industry (http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi/enpp/ento/entcirc/ent107.pdf).

Mead, F.W. 1971. Annotated key to leaffooted bugs, Leptoglossus spp., in Florida (Hemiptera: Coreidae). Entomol. Circ. 113. Fla. Dept. Agric. Consumer Svcs., Div. Plant Industry (http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi/enpp/ento/entcirc/ent113.pdf).

Mead, F.W. 2007. Featured creatures fact sheet: Leaffooted bug, Leptoglossus (=Theognis) phyllopus (Linnaeus) (Insecta: Hemiptera: Coreidae). Publication EENY-72. University of Florida. http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/leaffooted_bug.htm).

Meagher, R. Citrus pests and their management: Coreidae, 2nd. ed. Pp. 891. In J. L. Capinera. Encyclopedia of entomology. Vol. 3. Springer Publishing.

Reuther, W. 1989. Citrus Industry: crop protection, postharvest technology and early history of citrus research in California, Vol. 5. University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Schaeffer, C.W., A.R. Panizzi. 2000. Heteroptera of Economic Importance. CRC Press, New York.

Sparks, Jr. A., and D.G. Riley. 2008. Leaffooted bugs. (http://www.ent.uga.edu/veg/solanaceous/leaffootedbuts.htm).

Xiao, Y., and H.Y. Fadamiro. 2009. Host preference and development of Leptoglossus zonatus (Hemiptera: Coreidae) on satsuma mandarin. J. Econ. Entomol. 102: 1908-1914.

Authors

 

Martin, K.W., J.A. Weeks, A.C. Hodges, and N.C. Leppla

 

Citrus Pests
June, 2012