Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Order Hemiptera - True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies

not sure yet Fuzzy britches - Acanalonia bivittata Pentatomidae - Cosmopepla lintneriana damsel bug nymph - Hoplistoscelis pallescens Cyphostethus tristriatus (Fabricius) - Cyphostethus tristriatus Another tan short-winged cicadellid - Giprus Limotettix - subgenus Limotettix ? - Limotettix unidentified ant
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Includes Heteroptera (True Bugs, formerly classified as an order separate from Hemiptera), Auchenorrhyncha and Sternorrhyncha (the latter two formerly classified together in the order Homoptera)
Explanation of Names
HEMIPTERA: hemi 'half' + pteron 'wing'; refers mainly to True Bugs, whose forewings have a leathery basal part and membranous apical portion
~10,200 spp. in almost 1600 genera in our area (>4,000 spp. in Canada); worldwide, 107,000 spp. described, ~200,000 estimated(1)(2)(3)(4)
1-100+ mm
See(5) for discussion of features separating major lineages and a list of latest identification aids.
Auchenorrhyncha and Sternorrhyncha(1)(6):
Body often soft, but sometimes thickened, leathery
Many groups covered in spines, setae (hair-like structures), or waxy coverings
Antennae usually with 3-10 (up to 13) segments
Wings at rest are held rooflike over the body
Mouthparts are piercing/sucking, beaklike, as in Heteroptera
Beak arises from posterior portion of underside of head, not front portion as in Heteroptera
Soft or hard-bodied, often dorsoventrally flattened in profile
Typically two pairs of wings in adult: forewings (hemelytra) are partly thick and protective, and partly membranous
Wings at rest are held flat over the body, and have apical portion (tip) crossed - a distinctive characteristic
Scutellum (triangular portion of thorax exposed between base of wings along midline) is prominent. Beetles may also have a prominent scutellum.
Mouthparts are a piercing or sucking "beak" arising from front of head
Antennae with 4-5 segments
Many have thoracic scent glands
Many terrestrial and freshwater habitats
All non-heteropteran members and most Heteroptera feed on plant juices; among Heteroptera, there are many exclusively predatory families (esp. aquatic and semi-aquatic) and major predatory groups in other families. Some suck vertebrate blood. Some are major agricultural pests.
Life Cycle
Auchenorrhyncha and Sternorrhyncha usually have three life-stages: egg, nymph, and adult - and some have prepupal and pupal stages. Some groups are ovoviviparous (eggs hatch inside female, and young are born live).
Heteroptera have gradual or incomplete metamorphosis (no pupa stage); juveniles (nymphs) resemble adults except they usually have reduced wings and are incapable of flight.
Print References
Internet References
Photo identification guide(8) (covers British Isles but may be useful in many ways)
Québec fauna(9)
Works Cited
1.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
2.Hemiptera of Canada
Foottit R.G., Maw H.E.L., Kits J.H., Scudder G.G.E. 2019. ZooKeys 819: 277-290.
3.Checklist of the Hemiptera of Canada and Alaska
Maw, H.E.L., R.G. Foottit, K.G.A. Hamilton and G.G.E. Scudder. 2000. NRC Research Press.
4.Encyclopedia of Entomology, 2nd ed
Capinera J.L., ed. 2008. Springer, lxiii+4346 pp. (4 vols.).
5.The systematics of the Hemiptera
Forero D. 2008. Revista Colombiana de Entomología 34: 1-21.
6.Photographic Atlas of Entomology and Guide To Insect Identification
James L. Castner. 2000. Feline Press.
7.Heteroptera of Eastern North America
W.S. Blatchley. 1926. The Nature Publishing Company.
8.Bantock T., Botting J. (2010-) British Bugs, an online identification guide to UK Hemiptera
9.Pilon et al. (1988-2015) Entomofaune du Québec