Graphosoma Picture

The Hemiptera or True Bugs

The Hemiptera is the largest and by far the most sucessful of the Hemimetabolic insects (having young that look like wingless adults and a sort of metamorphosis that does not involve a pupa). There are at least 80 000 named species and probably many more. about 11 000 named species occur in North America, 5 600 from Australia and 1 600 from the UK. Traditionally they are divided into two groups the Heteroptera and the Homoptera (Sternorrhyncha, and Auchenorrhyncha) based basically on wing stucture but now they are the order is divided into three suborders, Sternorrhyncha, Auchenorrhyncha and Heteroptera with the Auchenorrhyncha now belived to be more closely related to the Heteroptera than the Sternorrhyncha.

The hemiptera range from 1 mm to 11 cm in length, their antennae usually only have 4 or 5 segments. Two or 3 ocelli are usual and their compound eyes are normally well developed. The main feature of the group is the mouthparts which are of the piercing/sucking type. the mandibles and maxillae form 2 pairs of piercing stylets and are contained in a flexible sheath derived from the labium. All the Homopterans and many of the Heteropterans feed on plant juices, though many of the Heteroptera are predatory and some are useful as controllers of plant pests. The 2 groups can often be distinguished easily as the Heteropterans have a large pronotum and a relatively small mesonotum and metonotumu whereas most Homopterans have a small pronotum and a large mesonotum and slightly smaller metanotum. Further to this the wings of the Heteropterans are usually held flat over the body and the forewings which are hard and stiff almost like beetle elytra have the end part soft and membranous; therefore Heteropteran forewings are referred to as 'hemi-elytra'. Homopterans usually hold their wings over the body like a tent and the forewings are entirely sclerotised with no membraneuos tip.



Book Reviews

Land and Water Bugs of the British Isles by T. R. E. Southwood and D. Leston (CD-Rom)
Fauna of New Zealand No.41. Coccidae. By C.J. Hodgson and R.C. Henderson
Fauna of New Zealand No.40. Cixiidae. By M.-C. Larivière
True Bugs of the World (Hemiptera, Heteroptera) Classification and Natural History, by Randall T Schuh and James A Slater
Australian Cicadas, by M.S. Moulds.
Aphid Ecology, by A.F.G.Dixon.
Fauna of New Zealand No.35. Cydnidae Acanthosomatidae Pentatomidae (Insecta: Heteroptera) By M.-C. Lariviere.
Aquatic Insects of Northern Europe Vol. 1. a taxonomic handbook by, Anders Nilsson (Ed.) .

Taxonomy of the Order Hemiptera


Dolling, W. R. (1991) The Hemiptera, Oxford University Press.
Evans, J.W. (1963) The Phylogeny of the Homoptera, Annual Review of Entomology, 8 pp 77-94.
Miller, N.C.E. (1971) The Biology of the Heteroptera 2nd Ed. Hill, London.
Slater, J.A. and Baranowski, R.M. (1978) How to Know the True Bugs (Hemiptera-Heteroptera) William Brown, Dubuque, Iowa.
Southwood, T.R.E. (1959) Land and Water Bugs of The British Isles Warne, London.
Stondahl, G.M. and Dolling, W.R. (1991) Heteroptera identification: A reference guide, with special emphasis on economic groups, Journal of Natural History, 25 pp 1027-1066

Hemiptera in General on the Web



Keys and Checklists for some Australian Hemiptera
A list of Families
Fulgoromorpha Lists On the Web
Bugs at BugWatch
Aquatic Heteroptera
Hemiptera (Heteroptera) (Bugs)
Water Bugs
About the Hemiptera in California

Picture Parade

In most cases the size bars are X2 those in the published works.

The Homoptera

The following are the result of my poor scanning and rearranging (to save space) of 3 plates from "The HEMIPTERA-HOMOPTERA (Cicadina and Psyllina) of the BRITISH ISLANDS" by James Edwards, F.E.S. 1896.

Plate 1 jpg 80K  Plate 2 jpg 74K  Plate 3 jpg 68K 
Plate 4 jpg 91K  Plate 5 jpg 92K  Plate 6 jpg 77K 
Plate 7 jpg 86K  Plate 8 jpg 82K  Plate 9 jpg 75K. 

Homoptera on the Web

Scale Net About Scale Insects
Sweetpotato Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci
The Black Pecan Spittle Bug
Homoptera at University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

The Heteroptera

A provisional checklist of the Heteroptera of Europe kindly supplied by Gaby Viskens

The following are the result of my poor scanning and rearranging (to save space) of 12 plates from " The HEMIPTERA HETEROPTERA of the British Islands" by Edward Saunders, F.L.S. 1892.

Plate 1 jpg 93K  Plate 2 jpg 79K  Plate 3 jpg 90K  Plate 4 jpg 93K 
Plate 5 jpg 64K  Plate 6 jpg 82K  Plate 7 jpg 88K  Plate 8 jpg 53K 
Plate 9 jpg 40K  Plate 10 jpg 107K  Plate 11 jpg 91K  Plate 12 jpg 87K 
Plate 13 jpg 51K

Heteroptera on the Web

Heteroptera at University of Michigan Museum of Zoology



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