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Scientific Classification

SubOrder Coleorrhyncha

SubOrder Heteroptera

SubOrder Auchenorryncha

Suborder Sternorrhyncha


Hemiptera is a taxonomic order of Arthropods. The name comes from the Greek terms hemi "half" and pteron "wing". It refers mainly to the True Bugs, whose forewing have a thickened base and membranous tip in many families. [1] There are 11,000 species in North America with various sizes, shapes, and colors.


Ecdysis of a Cicada

The Hemiptera has many species which are diverse in their shape, color and size. Approximately, there are 11,000 species in North America.[2] The size of Hepitera is from 1 mm to 11cm in length. Usually, their antennae have 4 or 5 segments and may be either short or long. Two or three ocelli, a small simple eye usually consisting of a few sensory cells and a single lens, are usual. They have well developed compound eyes of various forms. The Main feature of this group are their mouthparts. Piercing and sucking are the two types of mouthparts for specialized ways of feeding with sharply pointed tube which is know as a proboscis or rostrum. The thorax is divided into three segments, each with a pair of legs. They have two pairs of wings but some species only have a front wing or wingless. Wings are made of membrane. [3]

Life Cycle

Hemiptera usually have three life-stages: egg, nymph, and a adult. Hemiptera undergo incomplete metamorphosis, type of insect development characterized by a similar appearance throughout all stages of the life cycle. In the cicada's case, the appearance of the young bug is quite different from the adult. Young bugs and immature forms are also known as nymphs. Nymphs lack functional sexual organs and other adult structures, such as wings. They molt 6 to 8 times depending on the species. As they grow the nymphs gradually acquire adult structures. [4]


Laying Eggs

Adults lay eggs mostly during spring and early summer. Many species use sound to communicate with the opposite sex. To attract females, most males chirp by rubbing their forewing together or buzz by vibrating special membranes on the abdomen. Mating takes place in the normal habitat for the species. They lay eggs on the vegetation or other objects and after it, some species guard their eggs until it hatch. [5] The Golden Brown Stink Bug is one example of this case. The mother bug guards the nymphs, the baby bugs, until they become second instars, an insect in any one of its periods of postembryonic growth between molts. When the bugs newly hatch they stay around their empty eggs cases. Mother bugs deposit bacteria on the eggs so babies can eat bacteria on the egg cases. The main purpose of it is to eliminate eggs so their predators don’t know they were there. When the nymphs molt and become second instars. They leave their mother bug.[6]


shield bugs at various stages

Almost every part of a plan can be food for a hemiptera such as leaves, stem, fruits, or roots. So most species of hemiptera are plant feeders. They suck sap from food by using their sucking mouthpart. Some species are blood suckers. They suck blood of mammal including humans. [7]

The groups Gerromorpha and the Nepomorpha inhabit freshwater, living on the surface tension of the water and beneath its surface respectively. Most bugs come to surface periodically to breathe. Most plant feeding hemipterans are found on the stem, bark of plant, leaves, and root.[8]

Hemiptera have symbiotic relationship with ants. Phloem-feeding Hemiptera that eats phloem of the plant excrete an energy-rich and sugary substance also called honeydew. Then ants make a place where aphids can stay and lay eggs in. Also ants protect them from other predatory to get the honeydew. [9]

Human Effect

Plant feeding bugs are a serious pest to many crop plants. Green vegetable bugs eat the vegetable crops, stone fruit and citrus causing significant loss to agricultural industry. Also they cause injury to the plant tissue. When the bugs suck the sap, it transmits plant disease and makes fruits weak. Those bugs that feed on blood also transmit disease to human. Conenose bugs are one example that transmits the Chagas disease to human. Also some bugs bite mammals and transmit human or animal pathogen Some species are benefit to humans. Aquatic species are used for the pet food and are fed by fish. [10]