A journey into the eyes and mind of a naturalist.

Bugs vs. Insects

Most of the population will use bugs and insect interchangeably.  From a biologist’s perspective they should not be used so liberally.  Bugs are a very specific type of insect.  So one could say that all bugs are insects but not all insects are bugs.  True bugs are from the taxonomic orders of Homoptera and Hemioptera.  They can be distinguished from the other insects by two easy marks.  First is a straw like mouth part.  This mouth is used to suck juices from roots, leaves and even other insects.  Check out that straw like mouth in the picture below!

The mouth is the long black structure that looks like it’s tucked underneath the body.  The second method is to look at the wings.  With the wings folded there will be a subtle ‘X’ that will be visible.  The folding pattern of the wings gives this ‘X’ pattern in nearly all true bugs, some more subtle than others.

Here is the question.  Are box elder bugs really bugs?  What other bugs can you identify?  Insects?    What is this picture below, bug?

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3 responses

  1. mom

    preying manthus.

    August 10, 2010 at 18:53

    • It is a Mantis! Is it a bug or an insect?

      August 10, 2010 at 19:09

  2. Insect!

    August 18, 2010 at 23:34

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