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

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

ebony bug? - Corimelaena Aster Leafhopper - Macrosteles quadrilineatus Aquarius remigis? - Aquarius remigis Hyaliodes vitripennis? - Hyaliodes vitripennis Planthopper - Acanalonia conica Monorachis sordulentus Errastunus ocellaris? - Errastunus ocellaris CASTYPE 02158 - Cyrtolobus acutus
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 (formerly treated as a separate order), Auchenorrhyncha and Sternorrhyncha (the latter two formerly considered parts of Homoptera)
Explanation of Names
Hemiptera Linnaeus 1758
'half-winged'; refers mainly to what is now Heteroptera, whose forewings are part leathery, part membranous
~10,200 spp. in almost 1600 genera in our area (>4,000 spp. in Canada); worldwide, ~110,000 spp. described, ~200,000 estimated(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)
1‒100+ mm
See(6) for discussion of features separating major lineages and a list of latest identification aids.
Auchenorrhyncha & Sternorrhyncha(1):
Many groups covered in spines, setae (hair-like structures), or waxy coverings
Antennae with 3‒13 segments
Wings at rest held rooflike over the body
Beak arises from posterior portion of underside of head
Often dorsoventrally flattened
Typically two pairs of wings in adult: forewings (hemelytra) are part thick/protective, part membranous
Wings at rest held flat over the body, with membranous parts overlapping
Scutellum prominent
"Beak" arising from front of head
Antennae with 4‒5 segments
Many have thoracic scent glands
various, both terrestrial and freshwater
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.
Life Cycle
metamorphosis incomplete
Internet References
Photo identification guide(7) (covers British Isles but may be useful)
Québec fauna(8)
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.Catalog of the Heteroptera, or True Bugs of Canada and the Continental United States
Thomas J. Henry, Richard C. Froeschner. 1988. Brill Academic Publishers.
6.The systematics of the Hemiptera
Forero D. 2008. Rev. Colombiana de Entomol. 34: 1‒21.
7.Bantock T., Botting J. (2010‒) British Bugs, an online identification guide to UK Hemiptera
8.Pilon et al. (1988-2015) Entomofaune du Québec