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)