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
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