Insects & other Arthropods David A Kendall   BSc PhD
E-Mail: kendalluk@aol.com
Order Hemiptera (True Bugs)
(Hemi-ptera, from Greek hemi = half, pteron = wing)
Class: Insecta

Small to large sized insects of widely differing shapes and habits, but all with piercing mouthparts adapted for sucking plant sap or animal blood. The mouthparts form a relatively stout rostrum (often called the 'beak') which is normally held horizontally under the body when not in use. Antennae often quite long, but generally with few segments and nearly always less than ten. Two pairs of wings are normally present, but wingless forms are fairly frequent. The order is split into two distinct Sub-orders, the Homoptera and the Heteroptera, based largely on differences in wing structure. Thus, when wings are present, the front pair may be uniformly membranous or stiffened throughout (Sub-order Homoptera, from the Greek homos = uniform), or the front pair may be clearly divided into two regions, a stiff leathery basal area and a membranous tip (Sub-order Heteroptera, from the Greek heteros = different). The hindwings are always membranous. When at rest, Homoptera fold the wings roof-wise over the body, whereas Heteroptera fold them flat and slightly overlapping. The legs of most bugs are unremarkable, except in a few predatory forms which have raptorial front legs for catching prey, rather like those of Mantids, and in some aquatic forms where the hind legs are somewhat flattened and fringed with hairs for swimming. Cerci are absent, although many Homoptera (e.g. most aphids, family Aphididae) have a pair of tube-like structures at the rear end, called cornicles or siphunculi, from which they can exude a waxy defensive fluid to repel predators. Also, in some aquatic Heteroptera (e.g. water scorpions and their relatives, family Nepidae) there is a long appendage at the tip of the abdomen, which forms a respiratory siphon or breathing tube. Metamorphosis is simple, with a variable number of nymphal stages depending on species. The true bugs form a large Order with about 70,000 species worldwide, of which over 1,500 occur in the British Isles. Many species are of considerable economic importance as pests, not only by causing direct damage or injury to plants and animals, but also by transmitting many viral diseases. However, the vast majority of Hemiptera are quite harmless insects and some of the predatory forms can be regarded as beneficial when they habitually prey on insect pests. Furthermore, a few species of scale insects (Coccoidea) are of great value in the production of useful commodities, such as shellac, cochineal and various waxes, although nowadays some of these products have been largely replaced by synthetic materials.

Sub-Order Homoptera (Aphids, Plant Hoppers, etc.) Top  |  Home Page
Grass Aphid
Metopolophium sp. - Grass Aphid (winged form)
b. 3-4 mm
Bird-cherry Aphid
Rhopalosiphum padi - Bird-cherry Aphid (wingless form)
b. up to 3 mm
Grain Aphid
Sitobion avenae - Grain Aphid (wingless form)
b. up to 4 mm
Woolly Aphid
Eriosoma lanigerum - Woolly Aphid
(aphids covered by tufts of white wax) b. up to 3 mm
Beech Aphid
Phyllaphis fagi - Beech Aphid
(aphids covered by tufts of white wax) b. up to 3 mm
Beech Aphid
Phyllaphis fagi - Beech Aphid
(aphids covered by white wax) b. up to 3 mm
Common Froghopper
Philaenus spumarius - Common Froghopper
b. 5-6 mm
Froghopper 'Cuckoo Spit'
Froghopper 'Cuckoo Spit'
(froth mass produced by the nymph stage)
Froghopper nymph in 'Cuckoo Spit'
Froghopper nymph in 'Cuckoo Spit'
b. up to 5 mm
Sub-Order Heteroptera (Shield Bugs, Squash Bugs, Capsid Bugs, etc.) Top  |  Home Page
Hawthorn Shield Bug
Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale - Hawthorn Shield Bug
b. 13-15 mm (Photo: S. Hogg)
Birch Shield Bug
Elasmostethus interstinctus - Birch Shield Bug
b. 8-10 mm
Birch Shield Bug nymph
Elasmostethus interstinctus - Birch Shield Bug nymph
b. up to 6 mm
Parent Bug adult & nymphs
Elasmucha grisea - Parent Bug adult & nymphs
b. up to 9 mm
Common Green Shield Bug
Palomena prasina - Common Green Shield Bug
b. 12-14 mm
Common Green Shield Bug nymph
Palomena prasina - Common Green Shield Bug nymph
b. up to 10 mm
Forest Bug
Pentatoma rufipes - Forest Bug
b. 11-14 mm
Eysarcoris fabricii
Eysarcoris fabricii - a Shield Bug
b. 5-6 mm
Coreus marginatus
Coreus marginatus - a Squash Bug
b. 14-15 mm
Coreus marginatus nymphs
Coreus marginatus - nymphs of a Squash Bug
b. up to 12 mm
Firebug
Pyrrhocoris apterus - Firebug
b. 8-12 mm (Photo: G. Dooley)
Firebug nymph
Pyrrhocoris apterus - Firebug nymph
b. up to 10 mm (Photo: A. Elkin)
Bedbug
Cimex lectularius - Bedbug
b. 5-6 mm
Bedbug
Cimex lectularius - Bedbug
b. 5-6 mm
Anthocoris sp.
Anthocoris sp. - a Flower Bug
b. 3-4 mm (Photo: anon. email)
Deraeocoris ruber
Deraeocoris ruber - a Mirid or Capsid Bug
b. 4-6 mm
Harpocera thoracica
Harpocera thoracica - a Mirid or Capsid Bug (female)
b. 6-7 mm
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Copyright © 2014 David Kendall