|Mature specimen of Coreidae; the orifice of the stink gland shows as a dark spot just above and behind the coxa of the middle leg|
|Feeding "twig-wilter" nymph illustrating effect on food plant, and juvenile situation of stink glands on abdomen|
Common names and significance
The common names of Coreidae vary regionally. Leaf-footed bug refers to leaf-like expansions on the legs of some species, generally on the hind tibiae. In North America, the pest status of species such as Anasa tristis on squash plants and other cucurbits gave rise to the name squash bugs. Coreidae are called twig-wilters or tip-wilters in parts of Africa and Australia because many species feed in young twigs, injecting juices that macerate the tissues of the growing tips and cause them to wilt abruptly.
Morphology and appearance
The Coreidae commonly are oval-shaped, with antennae composed of four segments, numerous veins in the membrane of the fore-wings, and externally visible repugnatorial stink glands. They vary in size from 7 to 45 mm long, which implies that the family includes some of the biggest species of Heteroptera. The body shape is quite variable; some species are broadly oval, others are elongated with parallel sides, and a minority are slender. Many species with the "leaf-footed" tibiae are very slender with conspicuous expansions of the hind tibiae, but some robust species also have decided expansions. Some species are covered with spines and tubercles. As an example of these, the tribe Phyllomorphini Mulsant & Rey, 1870, are strikingly aberrant, with thin legs, spiny bristles, and laciniate outlines and adornments.
Many of the more robust species have grossly enlarged, thickened and bowed hind femora armed with spikes on the inner edge, and with hind tibiae to match, though the enlargement of the tibiae is less exaggerated.
In the nymphs, the openings of the two repugnatorial stink glands of Coreidae are visible as two projections or spots on the median line of the dorsal surface of the abdomen, one at the anterior and one at the posterior edge of the 5th abdominal tergite above the glands inside. During the final ecdysis the anatomy is rearranged and the glands end up in the metathorax, opening laterally through ostioles between the mesothoracic and metathoracic pleura. 
Biology and habits
The Coreidae generally feed on the sap of plants. There have been claims that some species are actively carnivorous, but there is a lack of material evidence and in the field some are easy to confuse with some species of Reduviidae, so doubt has been cast on the reality or significance of the claims.
Taxonomy and systematics
The family Coreidae are in the order Hemiptera and closely related to the families Alydidae, Hyocephalidae, Rhopalidae, and Stenocephalidae. Together, these five families form the superfamily Coreoidea. The family is large, with more than 1,900 species in over 270 genera.
Most taxonomists dealing with Coreidae divide the family into three or sometimes four subfamilies. Numerous tribes of the Coreinae have previously been proposed for elevation to subfamily rank, for example, the Agriopocorini, Colpurini, Hydarini, Phyllomorphini, and Procamptini, but the only one of these changes that at least a significant minority of researchers currently accept is the elevation of the Agriopocorinae, and recent reviews tend to treat them as a tribe again, recognizing only the three subfamilies known by 1867. Another difficulty is that the genus Eubule has not yet been placed.
Accordingly the subfamilies are as follows, together with illustrative genera of each:
Coreinae Leach, 1815
Agriopocorinae Miller, 1953 (often included in Coreinae)
Meropachydinae Stål, 1867
Pseudophloeinae Stål, 1867
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Coreidae.|
|Wikispecies has information related to: Coreidae|
- Gordh G, Headrick, D H (2000). A Dictionary of Entomology. CABI Publishing.
- Baranowski, R M (1986). Coreidae of Florida (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
- Hawkins, R D (2003). Shieldbugs of Surrey. Surrey Wildlife Trust.
- Alan Weaving; Mike Picker; Griffiths, Charles Llewellyn (2003). Field Guide to Insects of South Africa. New Holland Publishers, Ltd. ISBN 1-86872-713-0.
- Jorge E. Peña; Jennifer L. Sharp; M. Wysoki (2002). Tropical Fruit Pests and Pollinators: Biology, Economic Importance, Natural Enemies, and Control. CABI. pp. 237–. ISBN 978-0-85199-976-0.
- Schuh R T, Slater, J A (1995). True Bugs of the World (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Classification and Natural History. Cornell University Press.
- Beard, Raimon L. The Biology of Anasa tristis DeGeer. Bulletin 440. Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven 1940 
- Comstock, J. H. An Introduction to Entomology, Comstock Publishing. 1949. May be downloaded from: 
- University of Kentucky Entomology/Kentucky Critter Files/Kentucky Insects/True Bugs/Leaf-footed Bugs
- Gomendio, M; García González, F; Reguera, P; Rivero, A (2008). "Male egg carrying in Phyllomorpha laciniata is favoured by natural not sexual selection". Animal Behaviour 75 (3): 763–770. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.12.029.
- Coreidae of Britain
- Coreidae of Florida
- Comparative description of the immature stages of two very similar leaf footed bugs, Holymenia clavigera (Herbst) and Anisoscelis foliacea marginella (Dallas) (Hemiptera, Coreidae, Anisoscelini)
- Coreidae (Heteroptera: Pentatomomorpha)
- Chelinidea vittiger aequoris, a cactus bug,
- Euthochtha galeator
- Leptoscelis tricolor, heliconia bug
- Leptoglossus phyllopus
- Spartocera batatas, giant sweetpotato bug