Insect identification > Hemiptera

Hemiptera


The eggs of Hemiptera are laid under greatly differing conditions. Some are inserted in twigs or stems; others are laid either singly or in clusters on leaves or twigs or in other places. The eggs themselves vary much in appearance, some being provided with circlets of spines, some with long filaments and some being smooth but of unusual form or color. They hatch into nymphs more or less closely resembling the adult, which stage they reach by a series of molts, changing with each molt.

The order Hemiptera may be characterized as:
Insects which when adult nearly always have four wings, the front pair in most cases partly horny, partly membranous; with a plate located between the bases of the wings, usually triangular in outline, in some cases covering more or less of the abdomen above; mouth-parts for sucking, and attached to the front end of the underside of the head. Metamorphosis incomplete.

Hemiptera occur under almost every conceivable condition of life. Some live in water, coming to the surface only to obtain air; some are found on the surface of the water and some are found on the ocean hundreds of miles from land.

Most of the group are terrestrial, however, and in many cases are widely distributed. Probably fifteen thousand species are already known but the group has been little studied as compared with some of the more attractively colored and marked orders.

Those living in water are, at least for the most part, feeders on insects and other animals small enough for them to capture; those which live on the surface are also predaceous; while of the land forms some consume other insects but probably the larger number are plant feeders.

The Hemiptera are the true bugs, the general use of the term "bug" as applied to all insects being incorrect.