I mistook this insect for a type of Assassin Bug, which has a potent sting. For this reason, I used a telephoto setting to photograph this penny-sized insect, and then enlarged the photo using photo-editing software.
It is actually a Leaffooted Bug (Leptoglossus phyllopus), which gets its name from its flattened back legs. The males use their widened legs to wrestle one another.
I noticed it crawling on a thistle, which is its preferred food. In gardens, this sap-sucker is considered a minor pest. However, large infestations can devastate a citrus or pecan crop.
Leaffooted Bugs are found across the southern United States, as well as Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.
They don’t bite or sting, but be forewarned. They give off a strong, noxious odor when threatened.
UF/IFAS University of Florida, Featured Creatures, Entomology and Nematology, http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/leaffooted_bug.htm
Photograph (c) Carol Fullerton-Samsel 2021