Leaf-footed bug: True Bugs
You can find this insect (in maine, of course,) on dead leafs, usually waist-head high.
Leaf Footed bugs are part of the true bug family and are commonly known for having flattened thighs on their back legs. This does not mean that they can jump high, but is a very unique weapon. The back of the thigh, or tibia, has sharp spikes all the way up the side they use to fight other males for a female. When they grow wings, you can hear them fly for they have large wings. When walking, the legs go in pairs at a time instead of all of the legs doing something at the same time. This makes the bug, when walking, look like an alien along with its long antennae and googly eyes. They also have another defense mechanism. When disturbed, if they are an adult, they can let of a really foul odor that NOBODY wants to smell. Believe me.
They have a mouth peice (Proboscis, You know, like a butterfly or moths.) that they use to peirce vegetation and suck plant juice. As they will suck on pretty much any plant they see, and also as they will usually stick together in groups, this bug is considered a pest in some places. Some plants that they particuarly like are tomatoes,sometimes nut trees, and other nutrient rich plants. Now, unlike their true bug relatives, the Assasin Bugs, these bug’s proboscis cannot break the skin on humans. This means that yes you can pick them up, but as I said before, I don’t reccomend associating yourself with this bug as they can really stink your day up. (Haha, get the pun there?)
Around the beginning of the summer (June-May) the nymphs of the leaf footed bug arise from their eggs and grow to adult size over the time period of June to August. Finally around the middle to end of August and the beginning of september, the bugs start to mate and die off and the life cycle starts over again. The eggs that are laid look like millipedes without a head segment or leggs. If that isn’t descriptive enough, just go look it up. You’ll see what I mean when you see it.
As you see in the first photo, there will be two forms of the leaf footed bugs. The ones whitout the wings or just have wing stubs are the nymphs, while the ones with the wings are the adults. Also, just for your information, the plants that they are on are ferns. (The one on the second picture is standing on a leaf of pachysandra.)