The insect suborder Homoptera includes cicadas, hoppers, psyllids, whiteflies, aphids and scale insects. Here are a few facts about insects belonging to the suborder Homoptera:
- Several groups: Cicadas, Hoppers, Psyllids, Whiteflies, Aphids, Scale insects.
- Closely related to Heteroptera. (Heteroptera and Homoptera are suborders of order Hemiptera)
- Structure of wings: front wings have unifrom structure, either leathery or membranous (but not divided in two parts like in Heteroptera)
- Mouthparts piersing-sucking. Beak arises from posterior part of the head.
- Antennae sometimes short, but often long.
- Compound eyes usually well developed.
- Ocelli ( 2 or 3) can be present or absent.
- Plant feeders. Many are serious pests. Often vectors of plant diseases.
- A lot of variation in body form.
- Sometimes wingless and winged individuals within the same species.
- In scale insects, males have only 1 pair of wings.
- Aphids often viviparous (no eggs, but adults produce a nymph)
- Simple metamorphosis. In whiteflies it resembles a comple metamorphosis because the last nymphal instar does not move and looks like a pupa.
- Many species produce honeydew. Sometimes ants that feed on honeydew will protect the insects.
The order Homoptera is divided into a number of families. Some families containing important agricultural pests are:
- Cicadellidae (= Jassidae) = Leafhoppers
- Delphacidae = Delphacid planthoppers
- Psyllidae = Psyllids or Jumping plantlice
- Aphididae = Aphids or Plantlice
The following families are within the superfamily Coccoidea (Scale insects):
- Margarodidae = Giant coccids
- Coccidae = Soft scales or tortoise scales
- Diaspididae = Armored scales
- Pseudococcidae = Mealybugs