(meaning 'half wing')
Suborder Heteroptera (meaning
What is a Bug ?
The first thing most people do to when they
hear the word bug is cringe and make a face. Bugs have a
bad rap mainly because we think 'creepy crawlies' which is
pretty much true. So which insects have a bad rap ?
There are over 80,000 species belonging to the Order
Hemiptera and they include cicadas, aphids, planthoppers,
leafhoppers, shield bugs, just to name a few (not so bad).
These Hemitera's are often referred to as true
bugs. However, under the suborder Heteroptera, where
the real true bugs hang, there are about 40,000 species
and they include stink bugs, squash bugs, assassin bugs
and bed bugs (I feel a cringe coming on!). But hang
on, that is only one suborder in the Order Hemiptera there
are actually two more, the Auchenorrhyncha (which includes
leaf hoppers, cicadas and
spittle bugs) and the Sternorrhyncha (which includes
aphids, jumping plant lice and mealybugs). Bugs are
cold blooded animals (like all insects) which means its
body temperature remains similar to the temperature of its
environment. The only real way for a bug to control its
body temperature is to move, either into the sun or into
Charateristics of a
Lets get down to the nitty gritty of this order
of insect. The most defining feature of the Hemipertans
are their mouthparts. All Hemipertans possess specialized
sucking and piercing mouthparts (rostrum). All the
mouthparts including the mandibles (which have evolved
into proboscis) are fused into a single sharply pointed
tube which is used for piercing plants (or other insects)
and then sucking out the liquid or body fluid.
The true bugs have forewings that are hard and shield-like
at the base but become membranous at the tips but their
hindwings are entirely membranous.
The antennae is quite short and divided on average into five
segments but never greater than ten.