Hemiptera - The Bugs

The Hemiptera, for some reason, get the distinction of being dubbed "bugs". While the word "bug" is generally used to describe any or all arthropods, in binomial nomenclature it refers specifically to the Hemiptera. An incredibly diverse group of insects, they feed with the aid of piercing mouthparts enclosed in a beak-like rostrum, on both plants and animals. They have been broken into four suborders: Heteroptera (the true bugs), Auchenorrhyncha (the cicadas, lanternflies and hoppers), Sternorrhyncha (the aphids and scales), and Coleorrhyncha (the moss bugs). The ordinal name Hemiptera, is derived from Greek words meaning “half-wing”. Hemiptera appear in the fossil record during the Permian (280-225 million years ago). There are about 82,000 known species with more being described all the time.

Suborder Auchenorrhyncha (=Homoptera) - The Cicadas, Lanternflies and Hoppers

The Auchenorrhyncha, formerly known under the name Homoptera, are the most familiar of the bugs, with cicadas being the most well known insects in the group. The Auchenorryncha, along with the Sternorrhyncha, comprise the archaic suborder Homoptera (now divided based on the dissimilarities of aphids and cicadas). Auchenorrhyncha contains the aforementioned cicadas as well as lesser known "bugs", like lanternflies, planthoppers and treehoppers. However, the debate rages on as to whether or not the Auchenorryncha are paraphyletic, with the Coleorrhyncha (moss bugs) and Heteroptera derived from within it. Anyway, when all researchers can agree on the phylogenesis of these damned insects, we'll change names again. For now, because of the distinct outward appearances of the insects under question, we'll just keep things divided as they are. Auchenorrhynchans can be found almost everywhere there are plants. They use their downward-pointing rostrum to suck plant juices, their exclusive diet.

45_4_thumb.jpgMilky Cicada (Ayuthia spectabilis)

44_18_thumb.jpgCicada (Cryptotympana aquila)

9_7_thumb.jpgAlligator-headed Lanternfly (Fulgora laternaria = Laternaria phosphorea)          

10_11_thumb.jpgCicadas (Gaeana festiva)

46_13_thumb.jpgCicada (Gaeana laosensis)

10_16_thumb.jpgCicada (Gaeana maculata)

47_4_thumb.jpgCicada (Huechys sp.)

170_5_thumb.jpgSharpshooters (Oncometopia nigricans & Homalodisca sp.)

10_8_thumb.jpgLanternfly (Penthicodes variegata)

11_14_thumb.jpgGiant Cicada (Pomponia imperatoria)

9_20_thumb.jpg Lanternfly (Pyrops clavata)

47_15_thumb.jpgLanternfly (Pyrops viridirostris)

45_15_thumb.jpgCicada (Quesada gigas)

46_16_thumb.jpgCicada (Talainga binghami)

11_9_thumb.jpgCicadas (Tibicen spp.) Nymph and Adults

45_5_thumb.jpgCicada (Tosena splendida)

10_2_thumb.jpgCicada (Tosena sybilla)

Suborder Heteroptera - The True Bugs

The true bugs have a rostrum which can be pointed in many directions, allowing them greater range of food sources. This is unfortunate for humans since many Heteropterans have chosen to feed exclusively on the vital fluids of animals, including Homo sapiens. In fact, bedbugs (Cimicidae) have taken human blood as their preferred source of food. Many other Hemipterans feed on plant juices, with some species becoming pests to agriculturists.

132_18_thumb.jpgGiant Leaf-footed Bug (Acanthocephala declivis)

174_19_thumb.jpgGreen Stink Bug (Acrosternum hilare)

167_18_thumb.jpgCommon Water Striders (Aquarius (=Gerris) remigis)

174_8_thumb.jpgTrue Water Bugs (Belostoma sp.)

174_10_thumb.jpgShield-backed Bug (Callidea signata)

104_7_thumb.jpgTessaratomid Bug (Catacanthus incarnatus)

168_4_thumb.jpgWestern Conifer Seed Bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis)

103_12_thumb.jpgGiant Waterbug (Lethocerus americanus)

171_5_thumb.jpgGiant Red Bugs (Lohita grandis)

168_1_thumb.jpgBackswimmers (Notonecta spp.)

174_5_thumb.jpgTessaratomid Bugs (Oncomeris dilatus)

174_6_thumb.jpgTessaratomid Bugs (Oncomeris flavicornis)

173_15_thumb.jpgGiant Corsair Bug (Platymeris biguttata)

104_3_thumb.jpgGiant Mesquite Bug (Thasus neocalifornicus)