The order Hemiptera represent a group of insects known as True Bugs, Hoppers, Aphids, and Allies.
There are approximately 60,000 known species of bugs worldwide, with many more yet to be discovered and identified. Australia has about 5,650 known species, and again with many more yet to be identified.
The term ‘bug’ is used to describe members of the group Hemiptera, of which there are many different forms including aphids, hoppers, scale insects, cicadas and, confusingly, a group known as the ‘true’ bugs.
The one thing all bugs have in common is sucking beak-like mouth parts. Most bugs use this to suck juices (sap) from plants but some, such as the assassin bugs, are predators of other animals. There are also scavengers and a few, such as the bed bugs, are parasites of mammals, feeding on their blood. The majority live in terrestrial habitats but there are also specialist aquatic bugs – those that live on water (such as water striders) and those that live under water (such as fish-killers). True bugs are the only group of insects that are found on the open ocean, with seaskaters being found far from land.3
- Ground Shield Bug (Choerocoris paganus), Alice Springs
- Scientific classification
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Subclass: Pterygota
- Order: Hemiptera
- Mictis profana (Crusader Bug) 2nd instar
Footnote & References
- True Bugs, Hoppers, Aphids, and Allies (Order Hemiptera), iNaturalistAU, https://inaturalist.ala.org.au/taxa/47744-Hemiptera
- Hemiptera, Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/7630fe33-a00e-4743-80da-4fa6a36cd8b2#overview
- Bugs: Order Hemiptera, Australian Museum, https://australian.museum/learn/animals/insects/bugs-order-hemiptera/
- Hemiptera: bugs, aphids and cicadas, Insects and their Allies, CSIRO, https://www.ento.csiro.au/education/insects/hemiptera.html
InsectsBees Beetles Blattodea Butterflies Coleoptera Cicada Crabronidae Diptera Dragonflies & Damselflies Green Tree Ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) Hemiptera Mango Planthopper Moths Orthoptera Orthopteroid Processionary Caterpillar Stink Bugs, Shield Bugs and Allies Wasps Water Scorpion Witchetty Grub