This morning I was greeted by a leaf-footed bug (family Coreidae) clinging to the side of my garage. Naturally I grabbed my camera to photograph it, and later identified it as a western conifer seed bug (Hemiptera: Coreidae: Leptoglossus occidentalis).
The white zig-zag pattern on the hemelytra (forewings) is diagnostic for this genus.
As the common family name suggests, leaf-footed bugs often exhibit a “leaf” shape on their rear tibiae. Equal length of the “leaves” on the upper and lower surfaces on the hind tibeae are indicative of this species within the genus. I was surprised to learn this was a western conifer seed bug, since Michigan can hardly be considered “western.” Apparently, however, this species has been migrating eastward for decades since its discovery west of the Rocky Mountains.
These bugs use their piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on the juices of pines, spruces, hemlocks, and firs, of which I have several on my property. I suspect the individual shown here will soon be fed upon by a parasitoid wasp or fly. The white spot on its head doesn’t belong there. I think it’s probably an egg of one such parasitoid. If I’m correct, then upon hatching the young wasp or fly will burrow into the bug’s body to eat it alive from the inside out.