Crazy Looking Leaf Footed Bug

I was walking through the yard the other day when something caught my eye – this giant bug with this awesome pattern on it’s back was just sitting there on the plant. The biodiversity in Costa Rica is amazing. I feel like I never see the same bug twice and I’ve been told that there are so many bugs here that the scientists haven’t even come close to naming or categorizing them all.

leaf footed bug costa rica

So I bent down for a closer look at the striking pattern and realized that the bug had a leaf leg. A leaf leg? What the heck? Then I discovered that the entire plant was covered with leaf leg bugs!

coreidae bug costa rica

Here is a leaf leg bug with two leaf legs. I guess the other guy lost one of his.

I posted a photo to Instagram and Facebook, requesting that someone identify it – surely this amazing bug has been discovered and classified. There were some suggestions, but I eventually found the answer myself by googling leaf leg bug. It’s a coreidae, or leaf footed bug. In North America, they are called squash bugs (which VadoVia suggested on Facebook), but they don’t have leaf feet or wild patterns like the Costa Rican version.

Guess what else? They have stink glands, so don’t squish them. This reminds me of the time I found the beautiful human-size flower that smells like dead people. I need to be more careful where I go sticking my nose!



  1. Brian says

    Heh that’s pretty cool looking bug, I wonder what purpose the leafy feet serve. Have to keep my eye open for them while I’m there.

    • Erin Morris says

      Maybe to distract predators? But I’m wondering what predator wouldn’t notice the contrasting pattern over the leaf feet, so maybe that’s not it at all.

      • Brian says

        Its funny.. there certainly isn’t much information about these bugs on the web other than how much of pest they are, how to get rid of them, and things to do to prevent them from infesting your garden.

  2. Patrick Mahoney says

    I think what we are seeing here is evolution in the process. You have a unique opportunity in Costa Rica to see so many diverse species. All we have here are whistle pigs and hogzillas. :0)

  3. says

    So cool! I love finding strange bugs in other countries. It can sometimes be hard to look them up later though. I found a metallic pink beetle in Costa Rica once, never learned what it was.

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