The insect suborder Heteroptera includes the true bugs. Here are a few facts about insects belonging to the suborder Heteroptera:

  • Bugs (true bugs)
  • Closely related to Homoptera. (Heteroptera and Homoptera are suborders of order Hemiptera)
  • Front wing structure: basal portion thickened, apical portion is membranous
  • Hind wings: membranous, shorter than front wings
  • At rest, wings are held flat over abdomen, with membranous part of front wings overlapping.
  • Mouthparts are piercing-sucking. Beak is arising from the front part of the head. Often extends back along the ventral side of the body (between legs).
  • Many plant feeding species. Some species are predaceous. Some blood sucking species (can be vectors of diseases).
  • Compound eyes usually well developed.
  • Ocelli (two) are eiter present or absent.
  • Antennae usually long.
  • Many species produce strong smells from glands in the abdomen.
  • Metamorphosis is simple. Usually 5 nymphal instars. Nymphs look very similar to adults (except for the wings).


The suborder Heteroptera is divided in a number of families. Some families containing a important agricultural pests are:

  • Miridae = Plant bugs or Leaf bugs (= Capsidae: Capsids)
  • Lygaeidae = Seed bugs
  • Pyrrhocoridae = Red bugs or stainers
  • Coreidae = Leaf-footed bugs or Twig wilters
  • Tingidae = Lace bugs
  • Pentatomidae = Stink bugs or Shield bugs
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