Bugs (Hemiptera)

Greek "hemi" (half) + "ptera" (wings)
The Hemiptera are called "true bugs" and include bed bugs, cicadas, stink bugs, water striders, leaf hoppers, and aphids. They have two pairs of wings. In suborder Heteroptera, the fore wings are thick at the base and membranous at the tip, and the hind wings are much shorter and membranous; the thick fore wings do not meet in a straight line down the back like beetles, but rather they cross over one another. In suborder Homoptera, most have membranous or uniformly textured wings that fold tent-like over the body at rest. Some are wingless. True bugs have long mouthparts for piercing and sucking. Some bugs eat plants, others are predators and eat smaller arthropods, still others, like bed bugs, are parasites on birds and mammals including humans. The true bugs live in a variety of habitats: underground, in the soil and in water, both fresh and salty.


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Dock Bug
© 2004 Henk Wallays
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Saddled Leafhopper
© 2006 Joyce Gross
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Cixiid Planthopper
© 2004 Joyce Gross
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Blue-green Sharpshooter
© 2004 Dr. Larry Jon Friesen
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Giant Water Bug
© 2004 Joyce Gross
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Harlequin Bug
© 2004 Joyce Gross

Quick ID

  • Mouthparts for piercing & sucking
  • Wings often crossed over each other
  • Forewings half thick, half membranous
  • Hindwings smaller & membranous

More information about Hemiptera

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Last updated: Jan 2, 2017