Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chocolate bug

Every year about this time, we begin to find leaf-footed bugs near the doors and windows, as they come in looking for a warm place to sleep over the winter. Every year, I take photos.

I love these bugs, even though they have killed a couple of our young evergreens. They are calm, patient critters, as curious as cats, sociable and co-operative. And so elegant! And so, each year, I try to capture some of that personality on camera, with variable success.

Here's this year's attempt.

They're always neat, in their formal coat with its inset of chocolate pleated silk, and a short cape for warmth on the shoulders.

See what I mean by "co-operative"? He's perfectly willing to sit still for long photo sessions, unrestrained, on whatever background I choose for him, under hot lights, only occasionally swinging an antenna my way, as if to ask, "Almost done?"

The hind part of the forewings reminds me of those chocolates we get at Christmas.

The sides, belly, and legs are marked in a checkerboard pattern in vanilla, cinnamon, and chocolate tones.

And on the back of his head, he wears a regal crown.

Two-toned antennae bases , and a sprinkling of gold dust over all. Ready to go!

His curiosity got the better of him. He left his assigned place and came to look at the camera.

And crawled up over the lens. End of this photography session!

Now he's waiting in a pill bottle until I find a companion for him. I won't put him outside in the cold, but he's not allowed to hole up in my furniture or carpets, either.


  1. He is a handsome bloke for sure and you've done him proud with such a write up!

  2. Anonymous6:28 pm

    I believe that is Leptoglossus occidentalis

  3. Hi, Eileen! Do you get these critters up there?

    Anonymous; yes, it is. I had forgotten to include the name in the post itself, but it's in the tags.

  4. I've been entertaining these fellows here for such a long time. They come into the house and hang around with us. You're right, they are friendly but I've never seen them as beautiful as what you've show us.

  5. elizabeth kowal12:58 am


  6. Eliz; they're harmless, except to immature or damaged evergreens.

  7. All of your pictures are wonderful, but the second one is stunning. It looks like the insect version of a Glamour Shot.

  8. The texture and color of the wing tips DO look like a silky, fancy chocolate. Don't be tempted to taste the little fella!

  9. Anonymous6:21 pm

    well harmless? not!! These little creatures are toxic to our pets. As i found out the hard way! Lost my Kitty to one, she bit into started to foam at the mouth. Called the vet... Well you know the rest, ended up burying my best friend. Please be careful, beautiful but toxic they are.


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