Entomology List/Hemimetabolous and Exopterygota

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This page contains information on Hemimetabolous and Exopterygote Orders & Families. For information on how to use this list, please see the first section on the Entomology List page. For more general information about the event, see Entomology.

Contents

Hemimetabolous and Exopterygote Orders & Families

Ephemeroptera (mayflies)

  • Head: Vestigial mouthparts; Antennae short, bristle like; Compound eyes large, cover most of head;
  • Thorax: Wings- 4 membranous, many veins, FW large & triangular, HW smaller & fan-shaped; FL held in front of body;
  • Abdomen: Slender, bearing two (or sometimes three) long terminal filaments; Digestive system is filled with air, making them light enough to float;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Paired genital openings; Males fly in swarms; Females fly into the swarm & are quickly grabbed by a male. Copulation takes place in flight, & the female usually lays her clutch of eggs within minutes or hours. Males die shortly after mating; females usually die soon after oviposition; (During copulation, the two penes of the male are inserted simultaneously into the two openings of the female. Sperm is transferred quickly (there is no spermatophore) & eggs are fertilized immediately); a few reproduce parthenogenically (no males have been found);
  • Life Cycle: When it is done developing as a naiad , it leaves the aquatic environment, often rising to the water surface in a bubble of air, molts to a winged form (the subimago) & flies to a nearby leaf or stem (subimago- a brief transitional stage that molts again into a sexually mature adult (imago)). The imago usually has transparent wings & a smooth, shiny exoskeleton in contrast to the cloudy wings & dull, pubescent body of the subimago; Adults live for a single day;
  • Misc Anatomy: 1-30mm; Color varies (almost clear- brown/black);
  • Human Impact: Ecological indicators of water quality, bait (many popular fishing "flies" are tied to resemble mayflies. Anglers have names for the stages -- dun is the subimago & spinner is the imago), food for fish. Mass emergences can cause problems;
  • Habitat: Immatures are aquatic
  • Diet: Adults don’t feed (young- algae & other aquatic plant life scavenged from surrounding habitat);
  • Explanation of Name: derived from the Greek "ephemera" meaning short-lived, and "ptera" meaning wings. This is a reference to the short lifespan of most adult mayflies
  • Misc: Some emerge in late April, most in May, can be seen until Sept, in north;

Adults don’t feed- vestigial mouthparts; Antennae short, bristle like; Compound eyes large, cover most of head; Wings- 4 membranous, many veins, FW large & triangular, HW smaller & fan-shaped; FL held in front of body; Abdomen slender, bearing two (or sometimes three) long terminal filaments; Digestive system is filled with air, making them light enough to float; Paired genital openings; Males fly in swarms; Females fly into the swarm & are quickly grabbed by a male. Copulation takes place in flight, & the female usually lays her clutch of eggs within minutes or hours. Males die shortly after mating; females usually die soon after oviposition; (During copulation, the two penes of the male are inserted simultaneously into the two openings of the female. Sperm is transferred quickly (there is no spermatophore) & eggs are fertilized immediately); a few reproduce parthenogenically (no males have been found); When it is done developing as a naiad , it leaves the aquatic environment, often rising to the water surface in a bubble of air, molts to a winged form (the subimago) & flies to a nearby leaf or stem (subimago- a brief transitional stage that molts again into a sexually mature adult (imago)). The imago usually has transparent wings & a smooth, shiny exoskeleton in contrast to the cloudy wings & dull, pubescent body of the subimago; Adults live for a single day; 1-30mm; Color varies (almost clear- brown/black); Some emerge in late April, most in May, can be seen until Sept, in north; Ecological indicators of water quality, bait (many popular fishing "flies" are tied to resemble mayflies. Anglers have names for the stages -- dun is the subimago & spinner is the imago), food for fish. Mass emergences can cause problems; Immatures are aquatic ; Most herbivores; Adults don’t feed (young- algae & other aquatic plant life scavenged from surrounding habitat); Ephemera- “short lived”, “wing”;

Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)

  • Head: Mandibulate mouthparts; Antennae very short, bristle-like; Compound eyes large, cover most head (3 ocelli), up to 28,000 facets;
  • Thorax: Wings- 4 membranous, many veins, similar in size & shape, stigma (distinctively pigmented cell) on leading edge Dragonfly- base of HW broader, Damsel- Base of wings harrow & stock like; Legs used to catch prey/cling to vegetation; Agile fliers;
  • Abdomen: Long and slender
  • Misc Anatomy: Wingspan 20-190mm; Blue, green, yellow…; Damsel- long & slender, Dragon- robust;
  • Human Impact: Beneficial (pest control, mosquitoes), eat bees (pests to beekeepers), can be threat to poultry in some parts of Europe; Transmit Prosthogoniums pellucidus (parasitic flatworm) to chicken;
  • Habitat: Freshwater habitats worldwide, males defend territory;
  • Diet: All carnivorous predators; Eat small insects like mosquitoes & gnats;
  • Explanation of Name: The name Odonata, derived from the Greek "odonto-", meaning tooth, refers to the strong teeth found on the mandibles of most adults. AKA- "snake doctors", "devil's darning needles", & "mosquito hawks";

Mandibulate; Antennae very short, bristle-like; Compound eyes large, cover most head (3 ocelli), up to 28,000 facets; Wings- 4 membranous, many veins, similar in size & shape, stigma (distinctively pigmented cell) on leading edge Dragonfly- base of HW broader, Damsel- Base of wings harrow & stock like; Legs used to catch prey/cling to vegetation; Agile fliers; Long, slender abdomen; Wingspan 20-190mm; Blue, green, yellow…; Damsel- long & slender, Dragon- robust; Beneficial (pest control, mosquitoes), eat bees (pests to beekeepers), can be threat to poultry in some parts of Europe; Transmit Prosthogoniums pellucidus (parasitic flatworm) to chicken; Freshwater habitats worldwide, males defend territory; All carnivorous predators; Eat small insects like mosquitoes & gnats; Odonto= “tooth” (strong tooth on mandible), AKA- "snake doctors", "devil's darning needles", & "mosquito hawks"; *Labial mask adapted for catching prey (folded under throax & head when not in use, can be extended rapidly towards potential prey. Hooked lobes at the tip of the labium grasp or impale the prey & draw it back to the mouth as the labium retracts; External wingpads in later stages; Antennal seg shape useful in ID; Well-developed compound eyes; Around 15-30-60mm; Body robust; Body long & slender, 3 leaf-like gills at end of abdomen; dragonfly naiads- gills are located internally within the rectum here bellows-like contractions of the rectal muscles cause oxygenated water to circulate in & out; Sit-and-wait predators (sit until prey comes, then grabs it with labium); Naiads feed on other aquatic life like mayfly naiads, small crustaceans, annelids, & mollusks; Male grasps female by head/thorax, bends her abdomen so her genetailia can be grasped by organs holdin sperm, female bends abdomen to receive sperm; Eggs laid singly in fresh water, females often hover over open water & dip their abdomen as they oviposit. Eggs hatch into aquatic immature (naiads); Develop into instars with 9-14 molts, nymphs grow/molt in dusk/dawn; Spans over a year;

Dragonflies vs Damselflies
Characteristic Dragonfly Damselfly
Eyes Most have eyes that touch/nearly touch at top of head Eyes clearly separated, usu appearing to each side of the head
Body Usu stocky Usu long and slender
Wing Shape Dissimlar wing paris, HW broader at base All wings similar in shape
Position at Rest Wings held open, horixontally, or downwards Wings held closed, usu over abdomen
Distal Cell Divided into triangles Undivided, quadrilateral
Male Appendages Pair of superior anal appendages, single inferior appendage Two pairs of anal appendages
Female Appendages Most have vestigal ovipositors Most have functional ovipositors
Larvae Breathe thru rectal tracheal gills; stocky bodies Breathe thru cadual gills, slender bodies

Information about Immatures/Life Cycle of Odonata

  • Mouthparts: Nymphs have labial mask adapted for catching prey (folded under throax & head when not in use, can be extended rapidly towards potential prey. Hooked lobes at the tip of the labium grasp or impale the prey & draw it back to the mouth as the labium retracts;
  • Eyes: Nymphs have well-developed compound eyes
  • Thorax: External wingpads in later stages;
  • Misc Anatomy: Around 15-30-60mm; Body robust (dragonflies), Body long & slender (damselflies),
  • Abdomen: 3 leaf-like gills at end of abdomen; dragonfly naiads- gills are located internally within the rectum here bellows-like contractions of the rectal muscles cause oxygenated water to circulate in & out;
  • Diet: Sit-and-wait predators (sit until prey comes, then grabs it with labium); Naiads feed on other aquatic life like mayfly naiads, small crustaceans, annelids, & mollusks;
  • Mating/Courtship: Male grasps female by head/thorax, bends her abdomen so her genetailia can be grasped by organs holding sperm, female bends abdomen to receive sperm; Eggs laid singly in fresh water, females often hover over open water & dip their abdomen as they oviposit.
  • Development:Eggs hatch into aquatic immature (naiads); Develop into instars with 9-14 molts, nymphs grow/molt in dusk/dawn; Spans over a year;

Aeschnidae (Darners, Dragonflies)

  • Head: Sharp, biting mouthparts; 6-7 seg antennae, slender & bristle-like; Very large, well-developed compound eyes that touch;
  • Thorax: 4 large powerful wings, can fly in every direction tirelessly, always extended horizontally, similar triangles in FW & HW, unmatched antenodal crossveins; Legs used to form a basket when catching larger prey; Strong fliers, forwards/backwards…; Thorax thick;
  • Abdomen: Long, thin, abdomen, slightly thinner right behind thorax;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Females have ovipositors with blades & thicker abdomens; Males very territorial; Mate in flight, eggs deposited in water or close by, larvae are generally slender w/ long & flat extensible lower lip (labia), move thru water w/ jet propulsion (squirt water out of abdomens);
  • Misc Anatomy: Most between 65-85mm long, largest on planet; Most blue/green, some black/yellow;
  • Human Impact: Beneficial- pest control;
  • Habitat: Found in low-flowing streams, lakes…;
  • Diet: Predators; Eat other insects (pests), any soft bodied insect smaller than them, mosquitoes;
  • Explanation of Name: ‘aeschna’- ugly, AKA hawkers, darner- female abdomens look like sewing needle as they cut into plant stems & lay eggs;
  • Misc: Better adapted to cold than other Odonata;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (364) 343, 346, 377, larvae on 43

Sharp, biting mouthparts; 6-7 seg antennae, slender & bristle-like; Very large, well-developed compound eyes that touch; 4 large powerful wings, can fly in every direction tirelessly, always extended horizontally, similar triangles in FW & HW, unmatched antenodal crossveins; Legs used to form a basket when catching larger prey; Strong fliers, forwards/backwards…; Long, thin, abdomen, slightly thinner right behind thorax; Thorax thick; Most between 65-85mm long, largest on planet; Ovipositor well-developed; Most blue/green, some black/yellow; Better adapted to cold than other Odonata; Mate in flight, eggs deposited in water or close by, larvae are generally slender w/ long & flat extensible lower lip (labia), move thru water w/ jet propulsion (squirt water out of abdomens); Females have ovipositors with blades & thicker abdomens; Males very territorial; Beneficial- pest control; Found in low-flowing streams, lakes…; Predators; Eat other insects (pests), any soft bodied insect smaller than them, mosquitoes; ‘aeschna’- ugly, AKA hawkers, darner- female abdomens look like sewing needle as they cut into plant stems & lay eggs;

Gomphidae (Clubtails, Dragonflies)

  • Head: 4 seg antennae; Widely separated compound eyes;
  • Thorax: Similar triangles in FW & HW, No anal loop in HW; Short legs; Flight usu steady, without hovering, adults often alight on a flat surface;
  • Abdomen: Widening at end of abdomen (seg 7-9) ‘club’;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Females lack ovipositor, lay eggs by dipping the tip of the abdomen in water while hovering just above surface; Club less pronounced in females (males bigger club), absent in some species;
  • Life Cycle: Nymphs unusual- have a flat mentum (part of mouth), antennae only four seg, burrow in sediment at bottom of water body;
  • Misc Anatomy: 40-70mm, med sized; Black with yellow or green markings, cryptically colored;
  • Human Impact: Pest control;
  • Habitat: Active over water, often perch horizontally on ground, rocks, or logs with wings pointed downward;
  • Diet: Predators; Small insects, insect pests…;
  • Explanation of Name: ‘clubtail’- club at end of abdomen, Latin gomphus or gond meaning hinge;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (365) 344, 367

Similar triangles in FW & HW, No anal loop in HW; 4 seg antennae; Widely separated compound eyes; Short legs; 40-70mm, med sized; Black with yellow or green markings, cryptically colored; Flight usu steady, without hovering, adults often alight on a flat surface; Nymphs unusual- have a flat mentum (part of mouth), antennae only four seg, burrow in sediment at bottom of water body; Widening at end of abdomen (seg 7-9) ‘club’; Females lack ovipositor, lay eggs by dipping the tip of the abdomen in water while hovering just above surface; Club less pronounced in females (males bigger club), absent in some species; Pest control; Active over water, often perch horizontally on ground, rocks, or logs with wings pointed downward; Predators; Small insects, insect pests…; ‘clubtail’- club at end of abdomen, Latin gomphus or gond meaning hinge;

Libellulidae (skimmers, dragonflies)

  • Head: Larvae have labium developed into a mask over the lower part of the face; Hind margin of compound eyes straight or only very slightly lobed; Triangles in FW & HW are dissimilar in size, shape, or orientation, Anal loop of hind wing is foot-shaped with a distinct "heel" & "toe", wings brightly colored/banded, inner margin of HW rounded in both sexes, matched antenodal crossveins;
  • Thorax: Fast and erratic flight, sometimes interrupted by periods of hovering;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Male w/o lateral loves on second abdominal segment; Female ovipositor greatly reduced
  • Life Cycle: Naiads found in lakes & ponds, stocky & short, known as sprawlers, sit at bottom of streams & lakes waiting for prey, emerge at night;
  • Misc Anatomy: ~30-40mm; Many brightly colored, banded wings; Bodies shorter than wingspan;
  • Human Impact: Like other Odonatans, probably used for pest control
  • Habitat: Very diverse, virtually every dragonfly-type habitat in America, ponds & swamps;
  • Diet: Predators; Small insects
  • Explanation of Name: "skimmer" because of erratic flight
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (369) 42 (larvae), 345, 347, 348, 349, 358, 359, 360, 376, 361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 369, 370, 371, 373, 374, 375

Larvae have labium developed into a mask over the lower part of the face; Hind margin of compound eyes straight or only very slightly lobed; Triangles in FW & HW are dissimilar in size, shape, or orientation, Anal loop of hind wing is foot-shaped with a distinct "heel" & "toe", wings brightly colored/banded, inner margin oof HW rounded in both sexes, matched antenodal crossveins; Fast flight, sometimes interrupted by periods of hovering; ~30-40mm; Many brightly colored, banded wings; Male w/o lateral loves on second abdominal segment; Bodies shorter than wingspan; Erratic flight; Pest control??; female ovipositor greatly reduced, Naiads found in lakes & ponds, stocky & short, known as sprawlers, sit at bottom of streams & lakes waiting for prey, emerge at night; Very diverse, virtually every dragonfly-type habitat in America, ponds & swamps; Predators; Small insects; Skimmer- erratic flight, Latin libella which means booklet;

Lestidae (spreadwing damselflies)

  • Head: Round greenish-blue eyes on side of head;
  • Thorax: Wings lack color (some have elongated black spot called pterostigma), REST OPEN, stalked at base, M3 rises behind nodus closer to arculus than to nodus, wings, Many veins lead to wing tip, longer pterostigma;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Males have strongly curved claspers (used to grab female), males more slender; Females are greenish metallic & brown;
  • Life Cycle: Breed in slow moving or still water in stream backwaters, marshes, nymphs have long abdomen & distinctive part of upper lip (prementum), one generation/year;
  • Misc Anatomy: 31.75-50.8 mm; Body has greenish metallic shine; Long, thin bodies;
  • Habitat: Found around polls & swamps, perching on plant stems;
  • Diet: Predators?; Eat small insects?;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (384) 350, 378

Wings lack color (some have elongated black spot called pterostigma), REST OPEN, stalked at base, M3 rises behind nodus closer to arculus than to nodus, wings, Many veins lead to wing tip, longer pterostigma; Round greenish-blue eyes on side of head; 31.75-50.8 mm; Body has greenish metallic shine; Long, thin bodies; Males have strongly curved claspers (used to grab female), males more slender; Females are greenish metallic & brown; Breed in slow moving or still water in stream backwaters, marshes, nymphs have long abdomen & distinctive part of upper lip (prementum), one generation/year; Found around polls & swamps, perching on plant stems; Predators?; Eat small insects?;

Coenagrionidae (narrow-winged damselflies)

  • Head: Wings lacking color & usu held together over the back when at rest, narrow & stalked, M3 rises behind nodus, 2 antenodal crossveins, few veins lead to wing tip; Shorter legs than other damselflies;
  • Misc Anatomy: Smaller than other damselflies, 1-2 inches in length; Usu have a black pattern, Abdomen may be green, blue, yellow, orange, or purple;
  • Human Impact: Pest Control?
  • Habitat: Ponds/near water;
  • Diet: Predators?; Small insects?;
  • Explanation of Name: ; AKA- pond damselflies, Greek coen meaning shared or common & agrio meaning fields or wild;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (385)35 (larvae), 39 (larvae), 356, 352, 351, 353, 354, 355

Wings lacking color & usu held together over the back when at rest, narrow & stalked, M3 rises behind nodus, 2 antenodal crossveins, few veins lead to wing tip; Shorter legs than other damselflies; Smaller than other damselflies, 1-2 inches in length; Usu have a black pattern, Abdomen may be green, blue, yellow, orange, or purple; Females usu wacky colors, males usu just blue/green; Ponds/near water; Predators?; Small insects?; AKA- pond damselflies, Greek coen meaning shared or common & agrio meaning fields or wild;

Table for Distinguishing Odonata Families

Within the families of Odonata, it can be difficult to tell the difference between the following groups of families:

  • Lestidae and Coenagrionidae- Note that Lestidae rests with wings open and Coenagrionidae rest with their wings together.
  • Gomphidae, Aeschnidae, and Libellulidae- Note that Gomphidae's eyes are separated, and Libelluidae has a short, stout body.
Odonata Quick-ID
Family Name Distinguishing Trait Wing Venation
Aeschnidae Eyes touch at top of head similar triangles in FW & HW, unmatched antenodal crossveins
Gomphidae Eyes do not touch at top of head (The club on abdomen is NOT always present, and may be present in groups that are not a member of this family) Similar triangles in FW & HW, No anal loop in HW;
Libellulidae Short, somewhat stout abdomen Triangles in FW & HW are dissimilar in size, shape, or orientation, Anal loop of hind wing is foot-shaped with a distinct "heel" & "toe"
Lestidae Rest with wings spread open, eyes more offset from head than in Coenagrionidae Many veins lead to wing tip, longer pterostigma
Coenagrionidae Rest with wings together, eyes less offset from head than in Lestidae 2 antenodal crossveins, few veins lead to wing tip

Blattodea (Cockroaches)

  • Head: Mandibulate mouthparts; Antennae long, slender, back-sweeping, fillform; Compound eyes large, 2 ocelli-like spots;
  • Thorax: Wings- 4 membranous, FW thickened, HW membranous, pleated, held flat over back, overlapping, FW more sclerotized than HW, folded left over right when resting; Cursorial (running) legs, 5 segmented tarsi
  • Sexual Dimorphism:
  • Life Cycle: Immatures similar to adults & have wingpads, Females secrete a capsule around eggs called öotheca (may be dropped on the ground, glued to a substrate, or retained within the female's body), Egg stage lasts a few weeks to a few months, young resemble adults but are lighter & lack wings, go through a series of nymphal instars (2-12 depending on species), takes a month-a year to reach maturity;
  • Misc Anatomy: Body well adapted for running & squeezing into narrow cracks, instead of flying to avoid danger, they run into cracks/cervices; Pronotum covers & dorsally protects most of head & thorax; 8-60+ mm; Dark brown, reddish; Flattened oval bodies; Short, multi-segmented cerci;
  • Human Impact: Pests- feed on human/pet food, bad odor, unsanitary conditions, useful research tools for insect physiology & toxicology; Carry human pathogens, trigger allergic reactions (tropomyosin protein);
  • Habitat: Common most of world, subtropical & tropical environments, also temperate & boreal regions; Most are nocturnal;
  • Diet: Scavengers or omnivores; Eat almost everything, rotting wood, some harbor symbiotic gut Protozoa that aids in cellulose digestion;
  • Explanation of Name: The name Blattodea is derived from "blatta", the Greek word for cockroach. AKA waterbugs;
  • Misc: Closely related to Orthoptera & Mantodea;

Mandibulate; Antennae long, slender, back-sweeping, fillform; Wings- 4 membranous, FW thickened, HW membranous, pleated, held flat over back, overlapping, FW more sclerotized than HW, folded left over right when resting; Cursorial (running) legs, 5 segmented tarsi; Body well adapted for running & squeezing into narrow cracks, instead of flying to avoid danger, they run into cracks/cervices; Pronotum covers & dorsally protects most of head & thorax; Compound eyes large, 2 ocelli-like spots; Immatures similar to adults & have wingpads, Females secrete a capsule around eggs called öotheca (may be dropped on the ground, glued to a substrate, or retained within the female's body), Egg stage lasts a few weeks to a few months, young resemble adults but are lighter & lack wings, go through a series of nymphal instars (2-12 depending on species), takes a month-a year to reach maturity; 8-60+ mm; Dark brown, reddish; Flattened oval bodies; Short, multi-segmented cerci; Pests- feed on human/pet food, bad odor, unsanitary conditions, useful research tools for insect physiology & toxicology; Carry human pathogens, trigger allergic reactions (tropomyosin protein); Common most of world, subtropical & tropical environments, also temperate & boreal regions; Common; Scavengers or omnivores; Eat almost everything, rotting wood, some harbor symbiotic gut Protozoa that aids in cellulose digestion; Closely related to Orthoptera & Mantodea; “Blatta” = cockroach, AKA waterbugs; Most are nocturnal;

Mantodea (mantids)

  • Head: Mandibulate, hypognathous; Antennae short-medium length, filiform; Compound eyes large (cover most triangular head), distinctive ocelli; Head triangular shaped & can turn from side to side without moving any other part of body;
  • Thorax: Wings- 4 (most, some none), FW tegmina (narrow, opaque, leathery) camouflage & shield for HW, HW broader, more delicate, transparent, FW thicker & more slender than HW; Prothorax elongated; Raptorial FL with spines for catching/holding prey, 5 seg tarsi;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Males are fully winged while females have reduced/no wings; Immatures similar to adults with wingpads visible on thorax; Female mantids may attack & eat the male during or after mating, Female lays eggs in a foamy substance that hardens into a distinctive case (ootheca, contains up to 400 eggs);
  • Life Cycle: Nymphs hatch & molt several times, take ~ 1 year to develop;
  • Misc Anatomy: 10-120mm; Cryptically colored; Elongated body; Cerci short, multi-segmented;
  • Human Impact: Beneficial- feed on pests
  • Habitat: Tropical & subtropical climates; Common in Australia;
  • Diet: All predatory, some cannibalistic; Eat small insect prey (cricket) (or small frogs, lizards, birds);
  • Explanation of Name: The name Mantodea is derived from "mantis", the Greek word for these insects.
  • Misc: Active in spring-late fall, eggs overwintering; Closely related to orthoptera & Blattodea; Many are camouflaged & drawn to light at night;

Mandibulate, hypognathous; Antennae short-medium length, filiform; Compound eyes large (cover most triangular head), distinctive ocelli; Head triangular shaped & can turn from side to side without moving any other part of body; Wings- 4 (most, some none), FW tegmina (narrow, opaque, leathery) camouflage & shield for HW, HW broader, more delicate, transparent, FW thicker & more slender than HW; Prothorax elongated; Raptorial FL with spines for catching/holding prey, 5 seg tarsi; Males are fully winged while females have reduced/no wings; Immatures similar to adults with wingpads visible on thorax; Female mantids may attack & eat the male during or after mating, Female lays eggs in a foamy substance that hardens into a distinctive case (ootheca, contains up to 400 eggs); some stay with eggs while hatch, others leave, Nymphs hatch & molt several times, take ~ 1 year to develop; 10-120mm; Cryptically colored; Elongated body; Cerci short, multi-segmented; Spring-late fall, eggs overwintering; Beneficial- feed on pests, but also eat other good insects; Tropical & subtropical climates; Common in Australia; All predatory, some cannibalistic; Eat small insect prey (cricket) (or small frogs, lizards, birds); Closely related to orthoptera & Blattodea; “Mantis”- Greek word for these insects; Many are camouflaged & drawn to light at night;

Isoptera (termites)

  • Head: Mandibulate; Beaded Antennae about same length as head; (Adults) compound eyes present, (Workers/Soldiers) compound eyes are absent or small; (Adult) head well-developed, (Workers/Soldiers) head large & cylindrical or small & round;
  • Thorax: (Adults only) Wings- 4 membranous, similar in shape & size, shed after mating
  • Misc Anatomy: Cannot digest wood fibers (digestive systems contain symbiotic protozoa or bacteria that digest the cellulose in wood); 3-20mm; Adults- darkly pigmented body, Workers/soldiers- pale; Workers/soldiers- body somewhat ant like in appearance but with a broader junction between thorax & abdomen;
  • Human Impact: Important decomposers (break down & recycle up to one third of the annual production of dead wood), become pests when they eat human homes…, annual losses due to termites in the US = more than 800 million dollars;
  • Habitat: Very common in tropical & subtropical, less abundant in temperate regions;
  • Diet: Most dominant organisms in tropical forest environments; Eat: wood, bark, leaves, grasses, fungi, humus or the droppings of herbivores
  • Sociality: Only Hemimetabolous insects that exhibit true social behavior (build large communal nests that house an entire colony. Each nest contains adult reproductives (one queen & one king) plus hundreds or thousands of immatures that serve as workers & soldiers;
  • Explanation of Name: The name Isoptera, derived from the Greek "iso" meaning equal and "ptera" meaning wings, refers to the similar size, shape, and venation of the four wings.
  • Misc: Appear to be closely related to cockroaches (behavioral & ecological similarities between termites & wood roaches);

Mandibulate; Beaded Antennae about same length as head; (Adults) compound eyes present, (Workers/Soldiers) absent or small; (Adult) head well-developed, (Workers/Soldiers) head large & cylindrical or small & round; (Adults only) Wings- 4 membranous, similar in shape & size, shed after mating; Cannot digest wood fibers (digestive systems contain symbiotic protozoa or bacteria that digest the cellulose in wood); 3-20mm; Adults- darkly pigmented body, Workers/soldiers- pale; Workers/soldiers- body somewhat ant like in appearance but with a broader junction between thorax & abdomen;, Well developed head; Important decomposers (break down & recycle up to one third of the annual production of dead wood), become pests when they eat human homes…, annual losses due to termites in the US = more than 800 million dollars; Very common in tropical & subtropical, less abundant in temperate regions; Important decomposers (recycle 1/3 of wood), Most dominant organisms in tropical forest environments; Eat: wood, bark, leaves, grasses, fungi, humus or the droppings of herbivores Only Hemimetabolous insects that exhibit true social behavior (build large communal nests that house an entire colony. Each nest contains adult reproductives (one queen & one king) plus hundreds or thousands of immatures that serve as workers & soldiers; Appear to be closely related to cockroaches (behavioral & ecological similarities between termites & wood roaches); “Iso”-equal, “Ptera”- wings (similar size/shape of wings), AKA “White ants”;

Grylloblattodea (Ice insects, rock crawlers)

  • Head: Mandibulate (biting & chewing), hypognathous mouth; Antennae slender, filliform, 23-45 segments; Compound eyes reduced/absent;
  • Thorax: Wings- secondarily wingless; Legs- long & thin, Tarsi- 5 segmented, large coxae;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Female has pronounced ovipositor
  • Life Cycle: Eggs are black, laid singly into soil or moss, hatch after a few months-3 years, 8 nymphal instars; Development can take up to 7 years because of cold, nymphs look like adults but have no (or greatly reduced) compound eyes & no ocelli;
  • Misc Anatomy: 15-35mm; Mostly brown, legs & underside- light brown; Cylindrical; Long 8 segmented cerci;
  • Human Impact: No human importance (don’t live with humans);
  • Habitat: Rare; Caves near ice/snow at high elevations, mountains of Asia/North America (none have been found in the Southern Hemisphere); Active only at cold temperatures & move downward toward permafrost during warm seasons; Nocturnal;
  • Diet: Omnivores, scavenge for food on the surface of snowfields, under rocks, or near melting ice; Eat mainly arthropod carcasses/plant material;
  • Explanation of Name: The name Grylloblattodea, derived from the Greek "gryll" meaning cricket and "blatta" meaning cockroach, refers to the blend of cricket-like and roach-like traits found in these insects.
  • Misc: Closely related to Orthoptera & Dermaptera, Second smallest order of insects; Discovered by E.M.Walker in the Canadian Rockies in 1914; Cannot tolerate warm temps (die above 10 deg Celsius);

Mandibulate (biting & chewing), hypognathous; Antennae slender, filliform, 23-45 segments; Compound eyes reduced/absent; Wings- secondarily wingless; Legs- long & thin, Tarsi- 5 segmented, large coxae; Female has pronounced ovipositor; Eggs are black, laid singly into soil or moss, hatch after a fewmonths-3 years, 8 nymphal instars;15-35mm; Mostly brown, legs & underside- light brown; Cylindrical; Long 8 segmented cerci; Development can take up to 7 years because of cold, nymphs look like adults but have no (or greatly reduced) compound eyes & no ocelli; No human importance (don’t live with humans); Rare; Caves near ice/snow at high elevations, mountains of Asia/North America (none have been found in the Southern Hemisphere); Omnivores, scavenge for food on the surface of snowfields, under rocks, or near melting ice; Eat mainly arthropod carcasses/plant material; Active only at cold temperatures & move downward toward permafrost during warm seasons; Closely related to Orthoptera & Dermaptera, Second smallest order of insects; “Gryll”- cricket, “Blatta”- cockroach, blend cricket-like & roach-like traits; Discovered by E.M.Walker in the Canadian Rockies in 1914; Cannot tolerate warm temps (die above 10 deg Celsius); Nocturnal

Dermaptera (earwigs)

  • Head: Mandibulate, prognathous mouth; Antennae slender, moderately long beadlike with 10+ segments; Compound eyes well-developed, simple eyes absent;
  • Thorax: Wings- 4 (sometimes absent) , FW tegmina, thick, short & leathery, veinless (shaped like human ear), HW semi-circular & pleated, fan-shaped, fold in a fan-like fashion, some are secondarily wingless; Thin Cursorial (running) legs, 3 seg tarsi;
  • Abdomen: Pair of large pincers (cerci) at back of abdomen used in grooming, defense, courtship, or folding wings;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Males- curved cerci, Females' cerci- straight with an inward pointing tip;
  • Life Cycle: Female lays eggs in soil & may guard them until they hatch, Nymphs similar to adults but lack wings;
  • Misc Anatomy: 6-35mm (not counting cerci); Most brown/black, some metallic green/yellow; Elongated, dorsoventrally flattened;
  • Human Impact: Little to no importance, few can damage plant blossoms; Spread no diseases;
  • Habitat: Many live throughout world, most in tropics/subtropics, dark sheltered environments (under rocks, longs, bark of trees); Common & widely distributed;
  • Diet: Mostly scavengers/herbivores, some may be predatory; Eat living/decaying plant/animal matter;
  • Sociality: Non-social but shows maternal care;
  • Explanation of Name: The name Dermaptera, derived from the Greek "derma" meaning skin and "ptera" meaning wings, refers to the thickened forewings that cover and protect the hind wings. Called earwigs because of an old superstition that they crawl into people’s ears at night & burrow into brain, this is not true;

Mandibulate, prognathous; Antennae slender, moderately long beadlike with 10+ segments; Compound eyes well-developed, simple eyes absent; Wings- 4 (sometimes absent) , FW tegmina, thick, short & leathery, veinless (shaped like human ear), HW semi-circular & pleated, fan-shaped, fold in a fan-like fashion, some are secondarily wingless; Thin Cursorial (running) legs, 3 seg tarsi; Pair of large pincers (cerci) at back of abdomen used in grooming, defense, courtship, or folding wings; Female lays eggs in soil & may guard them until they hatch, Nymphs similar to adults but lack wings; 6-35mm (not counting cerci); Most brown/black, some metallic green/yellow; Elongated, dorsoventrally flattened; Males- curved cerci, Females straight with an inward pointing tip; Little-no importance, few can damage plant blossoms; No diseases; Many throughout world, most in tropics/subtropics, dark sheltered environments (under rocks, longs, bark of trees); Common & widely distributed; Mostly scavengers/herbivores, some may be predatory (hide during day, active in night); Eat living/decaying plant/animal matter; Non-social insect but shows maternal care; “Derma”- skin, “Ptera”- wings, thickened FW that cover HW, called earwigs because of an old superstition that they crawl into people’s ears at night & burrow into brain, this is not true;

Plecoptera (stoneflies)

  • Head: Mandibulate, simple, chewing mandibles (some adults don’t feed or have mouthparts); Antennae long, filiform; Compound eyes large, 2-3 ocelli; Broad head;
  • Thorax: Wings extend beyond abdomen- 4 membranous, held flat over abdomen, FW long & narrow, M-Cu crossveins form distinctive boxes near center of front wing, HW shorter, basal area enlarged & pleated; Long, robust legs ending in 2 claws; Weak fliers;
  • Abdomen: Have cerci at tip of abdomen; Oxygen diffuses through the exoskeleton or into tracheal gills located on the thorax, behind the head, or around the anus;
  • Life Cycle: Larvae- molt 10-24 times, flattened bodies similar to adults with short, sometimes pointed wing-pads & outstretched wings, live at the bottom of streams & rivers, feed on living & dead plant an animal matter, Each segment of thorax is covered by a large dorsal sclerite; Females drop pellets or masses containing many eggs into water from the air or release them in shallow water from shore (eggs are coated with a sticky slime that adheres to rocks & keeps the eggs from washing away in fast moving water); Adults live only a week or two;
  • Misc Anatomy: 4-60mm; Drab colored (range from gray/brown to green/yellowish green), sometimes marked with distinctive pale/dark patterns; Flattened, sprawling shape; Long, multi-segmented cerci;
  • Human Impact: Ecologic indicators because they require pristine aquatic habitats, larvae used as bait, food for game fish
  • Habitat: In/around fast-moving streams in temperate/boreal climates, associated with cold water; Rest on vegetation, rocks, & debris, spend most of life in reproductive activities, most abundant in cool climates;
  • Diet: Most don’t feed, some eat algae, lichens, rotting wood;
  • Explanation of Name: The name Plecoptera, derived from the Greek "pleco" meaning folded and "ptera" meaning wing, refers to the pleated hind wings which fold under the front wings when the insect is at rest.
  • Misc: Most emerge late spring/summer, some emerge in fall/winter; Hollow exoskeletons called exuviae are often found on rocks, logs, & vegetation near rivers & streams during spring & summer; Probably represent an evolutionary “dead end” that diverged well over 300 million years ago;

Mandibulate, simple, chewing mandibles (some adults don’t feed or have mouthparts); Antennae long, filiform; Compound eyes large, 2-3 ocelli; Broad head; Wings extend beyond abdomen- 4 membranous, held flat over abdomen, FW long & narrow, M-Cu crossveins form distinctive boxes near center of front wing, HW shorter, basal area enlarged & pleated; Long, robust legs ending in 2 claws; Weak fliers; Have cerci at tip of abdomen; Oxygen diffuses through the exoskeleton or into tracheal gills located on the thorax, behind the head, or around the anus; Larvae- molt 10-24 times, flattened bodies similar to adults with short, sometimes pointed wing-pads & outstretched wings, live at the bottom of streams & rivers, feed on living & dead plant an animal matter, Each segment of thorax is covered by a large dorsal sclerite; Females drop pellets or masses containing many eggs into water from the air or release them in shallow water from shore (eggs are coated with a sticky slime that adheres to rocks & keeps the eggs from washing away in fast moving water); Adults live only a week or two; 4-60mm; Drab colored (range from gray/brown to green/yellowish green), sometimes marked with distinctive pale/dark patterns; Flattened, sprawling; Long, multi-segmented cerci; Most emerge late spring/summer, some emerge in fall/winter; Ecologic indicators because they require pristine aquatic habitats, larvae used as bait, food for game fish; In/around fast-moving streams in temperate/boreal climates, associated with cold water; Most don’t feed, others herbivores; Most don’t feed, some- algae, lichens, rotting wood, winter stoneflies- algae & plant foliage; Rest on vegetation, rocks, & debris, spend most of life in reproductive activities, most abundant in cool climates; “Pleco”- folded, “Ptera”- wing (folded wings at rest); Hollow exoskeletons called exuviae are often found on rocks, logs, & vegetation near rivers & streams during spring & summer; Probably represent an evolutionary “dead end” that diverged well over 300 million years ago;

Orthoptera (grasshoppers & crickets)

  • Head: Mandibulate, hypognathous mouth; Antennae filiform; Compound eyes large;
  • Thorax: Wings- 4 held overlapping abdomen at rest, FW (Tegmina) hardened base, narrow, leathery, spread in flight, HW fan-like, membranous, fold under FW; HL- saltatorial, enlarged femur, powerful jumping legs, 3-4 seg tarsi, hind coxae small & well-separated, hind tibiae with two dorsal rows of teeth;
  • Abdomen: Cerci short & unsegmented;
  • Stridulation: (the act of producing sound by rubbing two body parts together) Mostly males produce sound by (rubbing the bases of the wings together or rubbing the hind legs against the wing edges), used for establishing territories & finding mates, volume & pitch unique to each species. Crickets & katydids rub a set of tiny pegs (called a file, located at the base of one wing) against a strong ridge on the other wing to produce sounds. Grasshoppers make sound by rubbing hind femora against the edges of the forewings;
  • Misc Anatomy: Most green; Pronotum usually with large descending lobes on sides; Ears of katydids & crickets are on forelegs, grasshopper ears are on base of abdomen; (tympanal organs = "ears")
  • Human Impact: Can be damaging to plants, some reared commercially & sold as bait;
  • Habitat: Common worldwide, terrestrial habitats;
  • Diet: Most herbivores, some also eat dead/living insects; Eat all types of plants;
  • Explanation of Name: The name Orthoptera, derived from the Greek "ortho" meaning straight and "ptera" meaning wing, refers to the parallel-sided structure of the front wings (tegmina).
  • Misc: Divided into 2 major groups based on antennae (locusts & grasshoppers have thick short antennae; Crickets & katydids have long threadlike antennae), closely related to Blattodea & Dermaptera;

Mandibulate, hypognathous; Antennae filiform; Compound eyes large; Wings- 4 held overlapping abdomen at rest, FW (Tegmina) hardened base, narrow, leathery, spread in flight, HW fan-like, membranous, fold under FW; HL- saltatorial, enlarged femur, powerful jumping legs, 3-4 seg tarsi, hind coxae small & well-separated, hind tibiae with two dorsal rows of teeth; Cerci short & unsegmented; Mostly males produce sound by stridulation (rubbing the bases of the wings together or rubbing the hind legs against the wing edges), used for establishing territories & finding mates, volume & pitch unique to each species. Crickets & katydids rub a set of tiny pegs (called a file, located at the base of one wing) against a strong ridge on the other wing to produce sounds. Grasshoppers make sound by rubbing hind femora against the edges of the forewings; Most green; Pronotum usually with large descending lobes on sides; Ears of katydids & crickets- on forelegs, grasshopper ears- on base of abdomen; Can be damaging to plants, some reared commercially & sold as bait; Common worldwide, terrestrial habitats; Most herbivores, some also eat dead/living insects; Eat all types of plants; Divided into 2 major groups based on antennae (locusts & grasshoppers have thick short antennae; Crickets & katydids have long threadlike antennae), closely related to Blattodea & Dermaptera; Name- “straight winged”; probably arose during the middle of the Carboniferous period

Tetrigidae (pygmy grasshopper)

  • Head: Antennae shorter than body;
  • Thorax: FW (tegmina) reduced to pads/absent, may be exposed/covered by pronotum, Membranous HW protected by elongated region of thoracic shield, some can’t fly; 2-2-3 tarsal formula, Hind tibiae expanded for swimming in some; Pronotum extends back over abdomen & is pointed posteriorly;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Females usu larger;
  • Misc Anatomy: Less than 20mm; Cryptically colored; Can’t hear/make sounds;
  • Human Impact: Not plant pests;
  • Habitat: Moderately common; Usu live near water, others in dry habitats (woodlands, old fields), most diverse in tropical forest;
  • Diet: Herbivores; Eat roots of plants/seedlings some algae/diatoms;
  • Explanation of Name: AKA grouse locusts, pygmy locusts, groundhoppers or pygmy grasshoppers;
  • Misc: Encountered early summer, spring, overwinter as adults, breed- late spring; Some can swim;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (416) 253

Antennae shorter than body; FW (tegmina) reduced to pads/absent, may be exposed/covered by pronotum, Membranous HW protected by elongated region of thoracic shield, some can’t fly; 2-2-3 tarsal, Hind tibiae expanded for swimming in some; Pronotum extends back over abdomen & is pointed posteriorly; Less than 20mm; Cryptically colored; Can’t hear/make sounds; Encountered early summer, spring, overwinter as adults, breed- late spring; Females usu larger; Not plant pests; Moderately common; Usu live near water, others in dry habitats (woodlands, old fields), most diverse in tropical forest; Herbivores; Eat roots of plants/seedlings some algae/diatoms; AKA grouse locusts, pygmy locusts, groundhoppers or pygmy grasshoppers; Some can swim;

Acrididae (short-horned grasshopper)

  • Head: Chewing mouth; Antennae short; Large eyes;
  • Thorax: Some well-developed wings, others wingless; HL for jumping, femur enlarged with muscle, as long as HW, 3-3-3 tarsal; Pronotum doesn’t extend beyond base of wings;
  • Abdomen: Tympana on sides of 1st abdominal segment;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Females have short, stout ovipositor, oviposit into ground; Elaborate mating courtship, takes ~1 hour, male may ride on back of female for a day (mate guarding)
  • Life Cycle: Females oviposit in loose soil, plant roots, rotting wood, dung, clutches of 10-60 eggs, up to 25 clutches over several weeks, Oviposition occurs late summer, hatch in spring;
  • Misc Anatomy: 15-30mm; Most gray/brown (cryptically colored), some bright; Spring-fall, overwinter as eggs;
  • Human Impact: Many destructive plant pests;
  • Habitat: Most in grasslands;
  • Diet: Herbivores, predators of Acrididae- ground beetles (eat egg), wasps, ants, praying mantids, spiders, mites, centipedes, frogs, toads, lizards, snakes, birds, shrews; Eat grasses/variety of plants;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (417) 256, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266& 269, 267, 268, 270, 271,273, 274, 275, 275, 276, 278, 281

Chewing mouth; Antennae short; Large eyes; Some well-developed wings, others wingless; HL for jumping, femur enlarged with muscle, as long as HW, 3-3-3 tarsal; Pronotum doesn’t extend beyond base of wings; Tympana on sides of 1st abdominal segment; 15-30mm; Short, stout ovipositor, oviposit into ground; Most gray/brown (cryptically colored), some bright; Spring-fall, overwinter as eggs; Many destructive plant pests; Most in grasslands; Herbivores, predators of Acrididae- ground beetles (eat egg), wasps, ants, praying mantids, spiders, mites, centipedes, frogs, toads, lizards, snakes, birds, shrews; Eat grasses/variety of plants; Elaborate mating courtship, takes ~1 hour, male may ride on back of female for a day (mate guarding), females oviposit in loose soil, plant roots, rotting wood, dung, clutches of 10-60 eggs, up to 25 clutches over several weeks, Oviposition occurs late summer, hatch in spring;

Tettigoniidae (katydids)

  • Head: Antennae very long;
  • Thorax: Wings held vertically (like roof) over abdomen at rest, some small, less than 8 principal longitudinal veins, FW surface slopes over sides of body, only a small portion being horizontal & dorsal, base of left tegmen is uppermost; Tarsi 4 seg;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: males with sound producing structures and tympanum on front tibia; Some females produce clicking sounds; Female's ovipositor is straight, curved, rounded, flat;
  • Life Cycle: Eggs laid in or on plant tissues, overwinter; Males provide female a nuptial gift (spermatophylax); Live for a year or less;
  • Misc Anatomy: 10-60+mm; Most green, some pink;
  • Human Impact: Some pests, but have low population density, so not many, some human food, farmers spray them away
  • Habitat: Every continent, not Antarctica; Live in meadows; most nocturnal;
  • Diet: Herbivores, Predators of katydids- wasps, spiders, ants, praying mantis, tree frogs, birds, bats;
  • Sociality: Solitary, communicate w/ sound, use antennae to touch/smell, can see;
  • Explanation of Name: AKA long-horned grasshoppers, Katydid = sounds sound like “katy did”;
  • Misc: Use mimicry & camo; Are small because of greater agility, faster development, less nutritional needs;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (429) 254, 255, 257, 258, 272, 282, 283&284, 285, 286,287, 288

Antennae very long; Wings held vertically (like roof) over abdomen at rest, some small, less than 8 principal longitudinal veins, FW surface slopes over sides of body, only a small portion being horizontal & dorsal, base of left tegmen is uppermost; males with sound producing structures; Tarsi 4 seg; 10-60+mm; Most green, some pink; Tympanum on front tibia (in males); Mostly only males produce sound (some females make clicking sounds); Eggs laid in or on plant tissues, overwinter; Males provide female a nuptial gift (spermatophylax) Female- ovipositor straight, curved, rounded, flat; Live for a year or less; Some pests, but have low population density, so not many, some human food, farmers spray them away; Every continent, not Antarctica; Live in meadows; Most herbivores, some predatory; Herbivores, Predators of katydids- wasps, spiders, ants, praying mantis, tree frogs, birds, bats; Eat leaves, flowers, bark, seeds…some predators; most nocturnal; Solitary, communicate w/ sound, use antennae to touch/smell, can see; AKA long-horned grasshoppers, name = sounds sound like “katy did”; Use mimicry & camo; Small because of greater agility, faster development, less nutritional needs;

Gryllacrididae (camel crickets)

  • Head: Sharp, elongated mandibles; Long threadlike antennae;
  • Thorax: Secondarily wingless (if present have 8+ longitudinal veins, FW lack sound producing organs; 3-4 seg tarsi, legs long & slender, non-jumping;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Females have sword like ovipositor;
  • Misc Anatomy: Gray or brown; Humpbacked body; Lack hearing & stridulating organs;
  • Habitat: Nocturnal;
  • Diet: Predators of insects/spiders;
  • Explanation of Name: AKA Leaf Rolling Crickets, Raspy Crickets, Wolf Crickets;
  • Misc: Produce rasping sound when disturbed;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (438) 247, 248, 249

Sharp, elongated mandibles; Long threadlike antennae; Secondarily wingless (if present have 8+ longitudinal veins, FW lack sound producing organs; 3-4 seg tarsi, legs long & slender, non-jumping; Sword like ovipositor; Gray or brown; Humpbacked body; Lack hearing & stridulating organs; Nocturnal; Predators of insects/spiders; Eat insects/spiders; AKA Leaf Rolling Crickets, Raspy Crickets, Wolf Crickets; Produce rasping sound when disturbed;

Gryllidae (true crickets)

  • Head: Powerful jaws; Long threadlike antennae;
  • Thorax: Some have wings, held flat over abdomen, Rub wings together to make sound, most of FW surface is dorsal in position w/ a narrow lateral portion bent down abruptly, right tegmen uppermost at rest; HL for jumping; 3 seg tarsi, Tympanum on front tarsi;
  • Abdomen: Cerci long & feeler like;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Mostly male crickets chirp, some females, male wings have large membranous area, often larger than female; Use song for courtship;
  • Life Cycle: Mate in late summer, eggs laid in autumn, hatch in spring;
  • Misc Anatomy: Medium/large sized; Somewhat camouflaged; Only able to hold one pitch; Somewhat flattened;
  • Human Impact: Some bite humans;
  • Habitat: Usually nocturnal; Found in fields, houses, trees;
  • Diet: Omnivorous scavengers; Eat organic materials (decaying plant material, fungi, & some seedling plants), some eat own dead/injured (cannibalism);
  • Misc: Parasitic tachinid fly Ormia ochracea attracted to male’s song;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (438) 251, 252, 277, 279, 280

Powerful jaws; Long threadlike antennae; Some have wings, held flat over abdomen, Rub wings together to make sound, most of FW surface is dorsal in position w/ a narrow lateral portion bent down abruptly, right tegmen uppermost at rest; HL for jumping; 3 seg tarsi, Tympanum on front tarsi; Cerci long & feeler like; Medium/large sized; Somewhat camouflaged; Only able to hold one pitch; Mate in late summer, eggs laid in autumn, hatch in spring; Usually nocturnal; Mostly male crickets chirp, some females, male wings have large membranous area, often larger than female; Somewhat flattened; Parasitic tachinid fly Ormia ochracea attracted to male’s song; Some bite humans; Found in fields, houses, trees; Omnivorous scavengers; Eat organic materials (decaying plant material, fungi, & some seedling plants), some eat own dead/injured; Use song for courtship;

Gryllotalpidae (mole crickets)

  • Head: Antennae less than 1/2 total body length; Small eyes;
  • Thorax: Tegmen usually short, covering ½ of abdomen; Front legs fossorial, broad & spade like, HL not made for jumping; Can fly powerfully, move very fast in general;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Ovipositor not visible externally; Males have a scaper on FW that produces sound when rubbed against other wing produces sound;
  • Life Cycle: Lay eggs in sealed off chambers, mating occurs in burrow, require 1+ year to develop, overwinter in all stages but egg & small nymph;
  • Misc Anatomy: 20+mm; Brownish; Abdomen is rather soft, but the head, forelimbs, & prothorax are heavily sclerotized;
  • Human Impact: Lawn pests
  • Habitat: Nocturnal, burrowing, moist places, extensive tunnel systems;
  • Diet: Omnivores; Feed on larvae, worms, roots, grasses, plant & animal matter;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (442) 250

Antennae less than 1/2 total body length; Small eyes; Tegmen usually short, covering ½ of abdomen; Front legs fossorial, broad & spade like, HL not made for jumping; Can fly powerfully, move very fast in general; Ovipositor not visible externally; Lay eggs in sealed off chambers, mating occurs in burrow, require 1+ year to develop, overwinter in all stages but egg & small nymph; 20+mm; Brownish; Abdomen is rather soft, but the head, forelimbs, & prothorax are heavily sclerotized; Long slender ovipositor; Males have a scaper on FW that produces sound when rubbed against other wing produces sound; Lawn pests; Nocturnal, burrowing, moist places, extensive tunnel systems; Omnivores; Feed on larvae, worms, roots, grasses, plant & animal matter

Table for Distinguishing Orthoptera Families

This table displays some key characteristics for each Orthopteran family.

Orthoptera Quick-ID
Family Name Distinguishing Traits
Tetrigidae Thorax projects past abdomen
Acrididae Short Antennae, tympanum on first abdominal segment, 3 segmented tarsi
Tettigoniidae Can be green or pink; Long antennae; Somewhat leaf-like; Tympanum on front tibia; 4 seg tarsi
Gryllacrididae Humpbacked; Jerusalem cricket; Can be tan, yellow, or brown
Gryllidae Long Antennae, tympanum at base of front tibia, 3 segmented Tarsi, Wings end early
Gryllotalpidae Fossorial legs (for digging), tympanum at base of front tibia

Phasmatodea (walking sticks)

  • Head: Mandibulate, prognathous mouthparts; Antennae long & slender; All have compound eyes, some males have ocelli;
  • Thorax: Most wingless, some 4 wings, FW narrow, short, hardened, HW broad, membranous; Long, thin legs, some capable of autotomy, can be held flat against body, 4 segmented tarsi; Slow-Moving; Prothorax shorter than meso- or metathorax;
  • Abdomen: Cerci short & unsegmented;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Males usually shorter & lighter bodied than females, some males have claspers at abdomen tip for grasping female while mating, some reproduce parthenogentically;
  • Life Cycle: Develop gradual metamorphosis & molt 6-7 times; Eggs resemble seeds; Live from several weeks- a few months;
  • Misc Anatomy: 30-300mm; Cryptically colored (green/brown); Some cylindrical/sticklike, others flattened/leaflike;
  • Human Impact: Those that live in temperate zones have no impact (not abundant enough), tropical species can take leaves from trees and cause damage;
  • Habitat: Tropical/subtropical climates; Spend their days hidden among their food plants, becoming active at night to feed, often perch in vegetation or on walls & window screens with the forelegs extended forwards, fake death when disturbed;
  • Diet: Herbivores; Eat leaves/trees;
  • Explanation of Name: Phsmatodea is derived from the Greek "phasm" meaning phantom, refers to the cryptic appearance and behavior of these insects
  • Misc: closely related to Orthoptera & Dermaptera

Mandibulate, prognathous; Antennae long & slender; All have compound eyes, some males have ocelli; Most wingless, some 4 wings, FW narrow, short, hardened, HW broad, membranous; Long, thin legs, some capable of autotomy, can be held flat against body; Slow-Moving; Prothorax shorter than meso- or metathorax; Males usually shorter & lighter bodied than females, some males have claspers at abdomen tip for grasping female while mating, some reproduce parthenogentically; Develop gradual metamorphosis & molt 6-7 times; Eggs resemble seeds; Live from several weeks- a few months; 30-300mm; Cryptically colored (green/brown); Some cylindrical/sticklike, others flattened/leaflike; Prothorax shorter than mesa/meta-thorax; Cerci short & unsegmented; 4 seg tarsi; Temperate zones- no impact (not abundant), tropical species can take leaves from trees, damage; Tropical/subtropical climates (host plants); Herbivores; Eat leaves/trees; Spend their days hidden among their food plants, becoming active at night to feed, often perch in vegetation or on walls & window screens with the forelegs extended forwards, fake death when disturbed; closely related to Orthoptera & Dermaptera; “Phasm” – phantom;

Psocoptera (book and bark louse)

  • Head: Mouthparts = Mandibulate, primitive, the lacinia (a subdivision of the maxilla) has become a separate, rod-like structure that is pushed against the substrate as a brace while the mandibles scrape off surrounding food particles, pharynx & hypopharynx are also modified for grinding food in a mortar-and-pestle arrangement; Antennae threadlike; Compound eyes large, 3 ocelli; Head prominent; Narrow “neck” between head & thorax;
  • Thorax: Wings- Booklice- wingless, Barklice- Some wingless, others 4 wings, FW larger than HW, venation reduced, held tent-like over body; Legs- Legs slender, for walking (not gripping like true lice), barklice have 2-3 seg tarsi;
  • Life Cycle: Have excellent powers of dispersal; Pearman's organ, a sound-producing structure in the hind coxae of some male barklice, produces a clicking sound that attracts females. The male then performs a courtship dance in an effort to initiate copulation;
  • Misc Anatomy: Barklice- Up to 10mm, usu less than 6mm, Booklice = less than 10mm;
  • Human Impact: Rarely come in human contact, may be nuisance, no real damage;
  • Habitat: Abundant worldwide but overlooked; (Barklice = Moist terrestrial environments, herbivores), Found in human dwellings, Some live in bird’s nests & eat residues of feathers or skin cells, but never on the birds themselves;
  • Diet: Barklice = Algae, lichen, fungi…, Booklice = Grain, book bindings, wallpaper paste;
  • Sociality: Some barklice like company, live in small colonies beneath a gossamer blanket spun with silk from their labial glands
  • Explanation of Name: The name Psocoptera is derived from the Greek "psokos" meaning rubbed or gnawed and "ptera" meaning wings. This name has been criticized by many entomologists because the prefix (a clear reference to the manner of feeding) is unrelated to the suffix (the presence of wings). Loosely translated, however, the name could be taken to mean "winged insects that gnaw".
  • Misc: Closely related to Hemiptera & Phthiraptera; A close phylogenetic relationship between barklice & parasitic lice is also supported by similarities in the structure of mouthparts (particularly the hypopharynx);

Mandibulate, primitive, the lacinia (a subdivision of the maxilla) has become a separate, rod-like structure that is pushed against the substrate as a brace while the mandibles scrape off surrounding food particles, pharynx & hypopharynx are also modified for grinding food in a mortar-and-pestle arrangement; Wings- Booklice- wingless, {Some wingless, others 4 wings, FW larger than HW, venation reduced, held tent-like over body}; Legs slender, for walking (not gripping like true lice), barklice have 2-3 seg tarsi; Antennae threadlike; Compound eyes large, 3 ocelli; {Up to 10mm, usu less than 6mm}, less than 10mm; Pale, unpigmented; Head prominent; Narrow “neck” between head&thorax; Rarely come in human contact, may be nuisance, no real damage; Abundant worldwide, overlooked; {Moist terrestrial environments, herbivores}, Found in human dwellings, Some live in bird’s nests & eat residues of feathers or skin cells, but never on the birds themselves; {Algae, lichen, fungi…}, Grain, book bindings, wallpaper paste; Some barklice like company, live in small colonies beneath a gossamer blanket spun with silk from their labial glands ; “Winged insects that gnaw”, "psokos" meaning rubbed or gnawed & "ptera" meaning wings; Closely related to Hemiptera & Phthiraptera; A close phylogenetic relationship between barklice & parasitic lice is also supported by similarities in the structure of mouthparts (particularly the hypopharynx); Have excellent powers of dispersal; Pearman's organ, a sound-producing structure in the hind coxae of some male barklice, produces a clicking sound that attracts females. The male then performs a courtship dance in an effort to initiate copulation;

Mallophaga (chewing lice)

  • Head: Mandibulate mouthparts (ventral side of head), toothed mandibles; Antennae short, concealed, knob at end (capitate); Compound eyes reduced/absent, lack ocelli; Broad Head, wider than prothorax;
  • Thorax: Lack wings; Gripping legs, Tarsi 1-2 segmented, most have two small claws;
  • Life Cycle: Females will typically lay 150-300 eggs over an interval of 2-3 weeks. The eggs, commonly known as nits, are oblong & approximately 1mm long. The eggs are glued to the hairs or feathers of the host with a secretion from the female accessory glands. The eggs typically hatch several days or up to three weeks from the time they are laid;
  • Misc Anatomy: .5-10mm; Light brown/tan;
  • Human Impact: Pests; Don’t spread many human disease pathogens, can harm poultry (Pediculosis- lice infestation anywhere on humans);
  • Habitat: Lives whole life on host; Common ectoparasites (mostly birds);
  • Diet: Eat fragments of hair/feathers or host’s blood; Can hitch a ride from a fly to transfer host-to-host (phoresis);

Mandibulate (ventral side of head), toothed mandibles; Antennae short, concealed, knob at end (capitate); Compound eyes reduced/absent, lack ocelli; Broad Head, wider than prothorax; Lack wings; Gripping legs, Tarsi 1-2 segmented, most have two small claws; Females will typically lay 150-300 eggs over an interval of 2-3 weeks. The eggs, commonly known as nits, are oblong & approximately 1mm long. The eggs are glued to the hairs or feathers of the host with a secretion from the female accessory glands. The eggs typically hatch several days or up to three weeks from the time they are laid; .5-10mm; Light brown/tan; Pests; Don’t spread many human disease pathogens, can harm poultry (Pediculosis- lice infestation anywhere on humans); Lives whole life on host; Common ectoparasites (mostly birds); Eat fragments of hair/feathers or host’s blood; Can hitch a ride from a fly to transfer host-to-host (phoresis);

Anoplura (sucking lice)

  • Head: Suctorial, retracted into head when not feeding; Antennae short, threadlike, 3-5 seg; Compound eyes reduced/absent; Head narrow, conical
  • Thorax: Wingless, Tarsi 1 seg with a single claw developed for clinging onto host;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Female “Fatter” than male;
  • Misc Anatomy: Less than 4mm in length; Flat-bodied;
  • Human Impact: Spread disease- humans & domestic animals; Humans- Relapsing fever (Borellia recurrentis), Epidemic Typhus (Rickettsia prowazeki), Trench Fever (Rickettsia Quintana), Animals- pox virus & (cattle lice) rickettsial anaplasmosis;
  • Habitat: Lives on host whole life;
  • Diet: Ectoparasite; Get nutrition from host’s blood;

Suctorial, retracted into head when not feeding; Antennae short, threadlike, 3-5 seg; Compound eyes reduced/absent; Head narrow, conical; Wingless; Less than 4mm in length; Flatbodied; Tarsi 1 seg with a single claw developed for clinging onto host; Female “Fatter” than male; Spread disease- humans & domestic animals; Humans- Relapsing fever (Borellia recurrentis), Epidemic Typhus (Rickettsia prowazeki), Trench Fever (Rickettsia Quintana), Animals- pox virus & (cattle lice) rickettsial anaplasmosis; Lives on host whole life; Ectoparasite; Get nutrition from host’s blood;

Thysanoptera (thrips)

  • Head: Piercing-sucking mouth, Only have a left mandible (right mandible becomes reabsorbed during the embryonic stage), Stiff, needlelike maxillae (second pair of jaws) are called maxillary stylets & form a sucking tube for feeding; Antennae short, 6-10 segments; Head narrow anteriorly forming a conical mouth opening
  • Thorax: Wings- 4 (some none), long, skinny, fringed with hairlike setae, held parallel to one another over abdomen at rest; Legs short, end in 2 tarsal segments with an arolium (bladder-like structure, allows insect to walk on vertical surfaces) at the pretarsus, lack claws but have extendable sticky pads
  • Life Cycle: Immatures wingless, many species undergo an extended metamorphosis in which the final immature stage is quiescent, non-feeding, & sometimes even enclosed in a silken cocoon (They are an intermediate stage between complete & incomplete metamorphosis);
  • Misc Anatomy: 5-14mm; Body cylindrical/spindle-shaped;
  • Human Impact: Many destructive pests of plants (grain crops, fruits/veggies…), some pest control, may be pollinators; Transmit plant diseases (tospoviruses);
  • Habitat: Live in flowers, leaf litter, & fungi; Throughout world;
  • Diet: Herbivores, decomposers; Eat plants, plant fluids & parts of plants- pollen, flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs, or buds;
  • Sociality: Some eusocial;
  • Explanation of Name: The name Thysanoptera, derived from the Greek "thysanos" meaning fringe and "ptera" meaning wings, refers to the slender wings that bear a dense fringe of long hairs.
  • Misc: Very thigmotaxic (seek security of small spaces); Can give a bite;

Piercing-sucking, Only have a left mandible (right mandible becomes reabsorbed during the embryonic stage), Stiff, needlelike maxillae (second pair of jaws) are called maxillary stylets & form a sucking tube for feeding; Antennae short, 6-10 segments; Head narrow anteriorly forming a conical mouth opening; Wings- 4 (some none), long, skinny, fringed with hairlike setae, held parallel to one another over abdomen at rest; Legs short, end in 2 tarsal segments with an arolium (bladder-like structure, allows insect to walk on vertical surfaces) at the pretarsus, lack claws but have extendable sticky pads; Immatures wingless, many species undergo an extended metamorphosis in which the final immature stage is quiescent, non-feeding, & sometimes even enclosed in a silken cocoon (They are an intermediate stage between complete & incomplete metamorphosis); 5-14mm; Body cylindrical/spindle-shaped; Many destructive pests of plants (grain crops, fruits/veggies…), some pest control, may be pollinators; Transmit plant diseases (tospoviruses); Live in flowers, leaf litter, & fungi; Throughout world; Herbivores, decomposers; Eat plants, plant fluids & parts of plants- pollen, flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs, or buds; Some eusocial; “Thysano” – fringed, “Ptera” – wings; Very thigmotaxic (seek security of small spaces); Can give a bite;

Hemiptera (true bugs)

  • Head: Mouthparts- piercing/sucking, hypothagnous, form “Beak” known as proboscis or rostrum, extends from underside of head; Antennae short or long, 3-5 seg; Eyes prominent, globular, of various forms, up to 3 ocelli present;
  • Thorax: Wings- 4 (some wingless), FW either entirely membranous or partially hardened, some hard near base, HW membranous, shorter than forewings, overlap & rest flat on back, Hemelytra; Legs variously modified, 3 or shorter seg tarsi;
  • Misc Anatomy: 1-100+mm; Triangular scutellum behind pronotum; Pronotum large, trapezoidal or rounded;
  • Human Impact: Impact variable, many plant pests; Diseases transmitted vary by family
  • Habitat: Abundant worldwide, terrestrial/freshwater habitats;
  • Diet: Some are bloodsuckers/predators/herbivores; Most feed on plant juice, some predatory;
  • Explanation of Name: “Hemi”- half, “Ptera”- wing, the fact that part of the first pair of wings is toughened & hard, while the rest of the first pair & the second pair are membranous;
  • Misc: Once the same order as Homoptera; Date back to Permian;

Piercing/sucking, hypothagnous, form “Beak” known as proboscis or rostrum, extends from underside of head; Antennae short or long, 3-5 seg; Eyes prominent, globular, of various forms, up to 3 ocelli present; Wings- 4 (some wingless), FW either entirely membranous or partially hardened, some hard near base, HW membranous, shorter than forewings, overlap & rest flat on back, Hemelytra; Legs variously modified, 3 or shorter seg tarsi; 1-100+mm; Triangular scutellum behind pronotum; Pronotum large, trapezoidal or rounded; 3-4 seg proboscis; Impact variable, many plant pests; Diseases vary by family; Abundant worldwide, terrestrial/freshwater habitats; Some are bloodsuckers/predators/herbivores; Most feed on plant juice, some predatory; “Hemi”- half, “Ptera”- wing, the fact that part of the first pair of wings is toughened & hard, while the rest of the first pair & the second pair are membranous; Once the same order as homoptera; Date back to Permian;

Corixidae (water boatmen)

  • Head: Triangular mouthparts & head, use straw-like mouthparts to inject enzymes into plants that digest the plant material, letting the insect suck the liquefied food back thru mouthparts; Antennae shorter than head; Compound eyes large, ocelli absent; Triangular head;
  • Thorax: FL short, tarsi 1 seg & scoop shaped, HL elongate & functioning as oars, ML can be used to make sound & attract mate;
  • Life Cycle: Mate in early spring; Reproductive cycle annual;
  • Misc Anatomy: 3-11mm; Swim RIGHT SIDE UP near BOTTOM of water; Darkly colored, narrow dark crosslines on dorsal surface; Can bite if mishandled; Elongate & oval, dorsal surface flattened, much flatter than backswimmers; Large pronotum;
  • Habitat: Common in ponds, streams, birdbaths, swim near bottom;
  • Diet: Mostly nonpredatory; Eat algae, detritus, other aquatic organisms (mosquito larvae, brine shrimp); Some preyed upon amphibians;
  • Misc: Can tolerate variations in salinity (brackish water..);
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (460) 100

Triangular mouthparts & head, use straw-like mouthparts to inject enzymes into plants that digest the plant material, letting the insect suck the liquefied food back thru mouthparts; Antennae shorter than head; Compound eyes large, ocelli absent; Triangular head; FL short, tarsi 1 seg & scoop shaped, HL elongate & functioning as oars, ML can be used to make sound & attract mate; 3-11mm; Swim RIGHT SIDE UP near BOTTOM; Darkly colored, narrow dark crosslines on dorsal surface; Can bite if mishandled; Elongate & oval, dorsal surface flattened, much flatter than backswimmers; Large pronotum; Mate in early spring; Reproductive cycle annual; Common in ponds, streams, birdbaths, swim near bottom; Mostly nonpredatory; Algae, detritus, other aquatic organisms (mosquito larvae, brine shrimp); Some preyed upon amphibians; Tolerate variations in salinity (brackish water..);

Notonectidae (backswimmers)

  • Head: Piercing-sucking mouth, tubular, cylindrical rostrum; Short 3-4 seg antennae almost hidden behind eyes; Compound eyes take up most of head, relatively close together, ocelli absent;
  • Thorax: Wings clear, tips without veins; HL lack claws, Tibia & tarsi of hind legs bear a fringe of long hairs as an adaptation for swimming, FL not scoop-like; Can fly well;
  • Abdomen: Underside of abdomen has two channels covered by inward-facing hairs that allow to store air bubbles;
  • Misc Anatomy: Swim UPSIDE DOWN & less erratically than Corixidae, rest at SURFACE; 5-15mm; Ventral side darker than dorsal side; Attracted to light; Can bite if mishandled; Some males can stridulate; Dorsal side convex, V- shaped, light colored, without dark crosslines;
  • Habitat: Ponds, freshwater pools, streams;
  • Diet: Predators; Prey on other aquatic insects by sneaking under their bodies;
  • Explanation of Name: Also called water bees/wasps, Greek words notos, meaning back, & nektos, meaning swimming;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (461) 98, 99

Piercing-sucking mouth, tubular, cylindrical rostrum; Wings clear, tips without veins; HL lack claws, Tibia & tarsi of hind legs bear a fringe of long hairs as an adaptation for swimming, FL not scoop-like; Swim UPSIDE DOWN & less erratically than Corixidae, rest at SURFACE; Can fly well; Short 3-4 seg antennae almost hidden behind eyes; Compound eyes take up most of head, relatively close together, ocelli absent; 5-15mm; Ventral side darker than dorsal side; Attracted to light; Can bite if mishandled; Underside of abdomen has two channels covered by inward-facing hairs that allow to store air bubbles; Some males can stridulate; Dorsal side convex, V- shaped, light colored, without dark crosslines; Ponds, freshwater pools, streams; Predators; Prey on other aquatic insects by sneaking under their bodies; Also called water bees/wasps,Greekwords notos,meaning back, & nektos,meaning swimming ;

Belostomatidae (giant water bugs)

  • Head: Piercing, cylindrical beak mouthpart; Antennae short & tucked beneath eyes;
  • Thorax: Can & will fly; FL raptorial, bear a single claw, HL somewhat flattened;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Males have eggs on back, take 1-2 weeks to hatch;
  • Misc Anatomy: Variable in size, some up to 90ishmm; Brown; Oval-shaped, flattened;
  • Habitat: Live in ponds, attracted to light, sometimes leave water & fly around;
  • Diet: Aquatic arthropods, snails, small fish & amphibians; Used in Asian Cuisine; Predators- stalk, lie motionless at bottom of body of water & strike, injecting digestive saliva w/ rostrum;
  • Sociality: Subsocial?, show parental care;
  • Explanation of Name: AKA toe-biters, Indian toe-biters, electric-light bugs (fly to lights in large numbers), alligator ticks;
  • Misc: Can bite; Largest insects in Hemiptera;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (463) 97, 101, 102

Piercing, cylindrical beak mouthpart; Can & will fly; FL raptorial, bear a single claw, HL somewhat flattened; Antennae short & tucked beneath eyes; Variable in size, some up to 90ishmm; Brown; Oval-shaped, flattened; Live in ponds, attracted to light, sometimes leave water & fly around; Aquatic arthropods, snails, small fish & amphibians; Can bite; Used in Asian Cuisine; Largest insects in Hemiptera; Predators, stalk, lie motionless at bottom of body of water & strike, injecting digestive saliva w/ rostrum; Subsocial?, show parental care; Males have eggs on back, take 1-2 weeks to hatch; AKA toe-biters, Indian toe-biters, electric-light bugs (fly to lights in large numbers), alligator ticks;

Nepidae (water scorpions)

  • Head: Piercing-sucking mouthparts; Antennae found under eyes, shorter than head; Large side-facing eyes;
  • Thorax: Well-developed wings, overlap at rest don’t often fly; Raptorial FL;
  • Misc Anatomy: 20-40mm; Usually brown; Breathe by means of a caudal respiratory tube formed from two long cerci that extend to the water's surface; Shape varies, some long; Distinctive ‘tail’;
  • Habitat: Slow moving streams, ponds & similar bodies of water;
  • Diet: Predators; Ambush prey (other aquatic insects, small crustaceans, tadpoles, & even small fish);
  • Explanation of Name: Called water scorpions because FL bears a resemblance to scorpion pedipalps;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (465) 293, 294

Piercing-sucking mouthparts; Well-developed wings, overlap at rest don’t often fly; Raptorial FL; Antennae found under eyes, shorter than head; Large side-facing eyes; 20-40mm; Usually brown; Breathe by means of a caudal respiratory tube formed from two long cerci that extend to the water's surface; Shape varies, some long; Distinctive ‘tail’; Slow moving streams, ponds & similar bodies of water; Predators; Ambush prey (other aquatic insects, small crustaceans, tadpoles, & even small fish); FL bears a resemblance to scorpion pedipalps;

Gelastocoridae (toad bugs)

  • Head: Piercing-sucking mouth; Antennae hidden under head; Large bulging eyes;
  • Thorax: Hemelytra FW, Don’t fly much; Raptorial FL, HL 2 claws, Hind tarsi 3 seg, FL shorter than ML;
  • Misc Anatomy: 6-11 mm; Cryptically colored; Resemble toads in appearance & hopping habits; Somewhat flattened, oval-shaped;
  • Habitat: Found at shore of ponds/streams, most diverse in tropics;
  • Diet: Predators, catch prey by leaping on top & grasping with FL; Eat small insects;
  • Explanation of Name: Also called ‘laughing bug’;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (467) 129

Piercing-sucking mouth; Hemelytra FW, Don’t fly much; Raptorial FL, HL 2 claws, Hind tarsi 3 seg, FL shorter than ML; Antennae hidden under head; Large bulging eyes; 6-11 mm; Cryptically colored; Resemble toads in appearance & hopping habits; Somewhat flattened, oval-shaped; Found at shore of ponds/streams, most diverse in tropics; Predators, catch prey by leaping on top & grasping with FL; Eat small insects; Also called ‘laughing bug’;

Gerridae (water striders)

  • Head: Piercing/sucking mouth; 4 seg antennae;
  • Thorax: Thorax long, narrow, & small; Wings variable, some none; FL short, other legs long & slender, Use surface tension of water so stay on surface (also water-repellent hairs), tarsi 2 seg;
  • Misc Anatomy: Usu 5+mm; Black, brown, yellow, tan;
  • Habitat: Whenever water isn't frozen, Surface of ponds, slow-moving streams;
  • Diet: Predators; Small insects on water surface;
  • Sociality: Territorial;
  • Explanation of Name: AKA water striders, water bugs, magic bugs, pond skaters, skaters, skimmers, water scooters, water skaters, water skeeters, water skimmers, water skippers, water spiders, or Jesus bugs;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (469) 292

Piercing/sucking mouth; Wings variable, some none; FL short,other legs long &slender,Use surface tension of waters to stay onsurface (also water-repellent hairs), tarsi 2 seg; 4 seg antennae; Thorax long, narrow, & small; Usu 5+mm; Black, brown, yellow, tan; Whenever water isn’t frozen, Surface of ponds, slow-moving streams; Predators; Small insects on water surface; Territorial; AKA water striders, water bugs, magic bugs, pond skaters, skaters, skimmers, water scooters, water skaters, water skeeters, water skimmers, water skippers, water spiders, or Jesus bugs;

Cimicidae (bed bugs)

  • Head: Beak-like mouth; 4 seg antennae, 2 basal segs short & stout; Ocelli absent;
  • Thorax: Wingless, nonfunctional wingpads; 3 seg tarsi;
  • Misc Anatomy: 4-12 mm; Some red/rusty brown color; Body flat, oval; Year-round;
  • Human Impact: Pests; Not known to spread disease, can cause itching & lack of sleep;
  • Habitat: Often found among humans;
  • Diet: Parasites; Feed on blood of warm-blooded animals;
  • Misc: repelled by lavender, mint & an excessive heat;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (469) 67

Beak-like mouth; 4 seg antennae, 2 basal segs short & stout; Ocelli absent; Wingless, nonfunctional wingpads; 3 seg tarsi; 4-12 mm; Some red/rusty brown color; Body flat, oval; Year-round; Pests; Not known to spread disease, can cause itching & lack of sleep; Often found among humans; Parasites; Feed on blood of warm-blooded animals; repelled by lavender, mint & an excessive heat;

Miridae (plant bugs)

  • Head: 4 seg Beak mouth (labium); Antennae short & skinny, 4 seg; Ocelli absent;
  • Thorax: Wings angle down towards abdomen, Cuenus (crease) present on FW, membrane w/ 2 closed cells; Slender, delicate legs, 3 seg tarsi;
  • Misc Anatomy: 1.5-15 mm; Some brightly colored, some drab & dark; Oval-shaped & elongate, soft bodied; Some ant mimics @ certain stages;
  • Human Impact: Agricultural pests, pierce plants & feed on juices;
  • Diet: Herbivores; Eat plants;
  • Explanation of Name: AKA capsid bugs;
  • Misc: Largest family in Hemiptera;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (470) 121, 122,156, 235

4 seg Beak mouth (labium); Wings angle down towards abdomen, Cuenus (crease) present on FW, membrane w/ 2 closed cells; Slender, delicate legs, 3 seg tarsi; Antennae short & skinny, 4 seg; Ocelli absent; 1.5-15 mm; Some brightly colored, some drab & dark; Oval-shaped & elongate, soft bodied; Some ant mimics @ certain stages; Agricultural pests, pierce plants & feed on juices; Herbivores; Eat plants; AKAcapsidbugs; Largest family in Hemiptera;

Reduviidae (assassin bugs)

  • Head: 3 seg proboscis, beak short; Antennae long, thin, not clubbed; Ocelli usu present; Head elongate, narrowing behind eyes;
  • Thorax: FL sometimes enlarged for catching prey, long legs;
  • Abdomen: Edges of abdomen extend laterally beyond wings;
  • Misc Anatomy: 5-40 mm; Brown, black, or brightly colored; Some oval, some elongate & resembling a walkingstick;
  • Human Impact: Some pest control; Transmit Chagas disease, can bite;
  • Diet: Almost all predatory (inject a lethal saliva that liquefies the insides of the prey, which are then sucked out), some suck blood; Most prey on arthropods;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (473) 118 & 119, 105, 120

3 seg proboscis, beak short; FL sometimes enlarged for catching prey, long legs; Antennae long, thin, not clubbed; Ocelli usu present; Head elongate, narrowing behind eyes; Edges of abdomen extend laterally beyond wings; 5-40 mm; Brown, black, or brightly colored; Some oval, some elongate & resembling a walkingstick; Very wide abdomen; Some pest control; Chagas disease, can bite; Almost all predatory(inject a lethal saliva that liquefies the insides of the prey,which are then sucked out),some suck blood; Most prey on arthropods;

Phymatidae (ambush bugs)

  • Head: Beak short & 3 seg, don’t bite humans; Antennae clubbed, 4 seg; 2 ocelli;
  • Thorax: FW hemelytra, lack distinct cells in membrane; Raptorial forelegs, Front femora greatly thickened, Middle & hind tarsi 3 seg;
  • Abdomen: Abdomen winder in distal half, extending laterally beyond wings;
  • Misc Anatomy: 5–12mm; Usu brown & yellow;
  • Habitat: Flowers, lie to wait for prey, found on goldenrod;
  • Diet: Predators (ambush prey, relying on camo); Feed on other small insects (can get prey 10x their size);
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (475) 127

Beak short & 3 seg, don’t bite humans; Antennae clubbed, 4 seg; 2 ocelli; FW hemelytra, lack distinct cells in membrane; Raptorial forelegs, Front femora greatly thickened, Middle & hind tarsi 3 seg; Abdomen winder in distal half, extending laterally beyond wings; 5–12mm; Usu brown & yellow; Rear half of abdomen extends beyond wings; Flowers, lie to wait for prey, found on goldenrod; Predators (ambush prey, relying on camo); Feed on other small insects (can get prey 10x their size);

Tingidae (lace bugs)

  • Head: Have 4 jointed beak; Antennae 4 seg;
  • Misc Anatomy: 3-5mm; Most somewhat rectangular; Pronotum & wings with reticulate sculpturing, pronotum has triangular posterior extension over scutellum;
  • Human Impact: Crop pests, damage foilage; Can inflict bite;
  • Diet: Herbivores; Feed on leaves of trees/shrubs;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (476) 56

Have 4 jointed beak; Antennae 4 seg; 3-5mm; Most somewhat rectangular; Pronotum & wings with reticulate sculpturing, pronotum has triangular posterior extension over scutellum; Crop pests, damage foilage; Can inflict bite; Herbivores; Feed on leaves of trees/shrubs;

Lygaeidae (seed bugs)

  • Head: Antennae & beak 4 seg; Ocelli almost always present;
  • Thorax: Tarsi 3 seg with a pad at base of each claw, front femora somewhat thickened; Membrane of FW with only 4 or 5 veins;
  • Misc Anatomy: 3-20 mm; Orange/red patterns;
  • Diet: Feed on milkweed or seeds;
  • Explanation of Name: AKA milkweed bugs;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (478) 115, 116, 123

Antennae & beak 4 seg; Ocelli almost always present; Tarsi 3 seg with a pad at base of each claw,front femora somewhat thickened;Membrane of FW with only 4 or 5 veins;3-20 mm; Orange/red patterns; Feed on milkweed or seeds; AKA milkweedbugs;

Coreidae (leaf–footed bugs)

  • Head: 4 segmented beak; 4 seg antennae; Ocelli present; Head narrower & usu shorter than pronotum;
  • Thorax: FW many parallel veins; Hind tibia expanded into leaf-like plates in some; Scent glands on the thorax between middle & hind coxae;
  • Abdomen: Abdominal margin raised- folded wings lying in depression formed by margin;
  • Life Cycle: Adults sometimes overwinter, 1+ generations per year;
  • Misc Anatomy: 10-20 mm; Usually dark; Oval-shaped body;
  • Human Impact: Some pests;
  • Habitat: Found near plants;
  • Diet: Herbivores; All eat plants;
  • Sociality: Some carry eggs (parental care);
  • Explanation of Name: Also called squash bugs;
  • Misc: Give off unpleasant odor;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (481) 103, 104

4 segmented beak; 4 seg antennae; Ocelli present; Head narrower & usu shorter than pronotum; FW many parallel veins; Hind tibia expanded into leaf-like plates in some; Abdominal margin raised- folded wings lying in depression formed by margin; 10-20 mm; Usually dark; Oval-shaped body; Adults sometimes overwinter, 1+ generations per year; Head narrower than thorax; Scent glands on the thorax between middle & hind coxae; Give off unpleasant odor; Some pests; Found near plants; Herbivores; All eat plants; Some carry eggs (parental care); Also called squash bugs;

Pentatomidae (Stink bugs)

  • Head: 5 seg antennae; Ocelli present; Piercing/sucking mouth;
  • Thorax: FW hemelytra; Short legs for climbing on plants, tibae with weak or no spines;
  • Life Cycle: Active in Spring-Fall;
  • Misc Anatomy: 5-18 mm; Green/brown in color; Shaped like a trapezoid, triangular scutellum on back of body; Scutellum typically ½ inch long, trapezoidal in shape;
  • Human Impact: Agricultural pests, eat crops & immune to pesticide, some good for pest control;
  • Habitat: Fields, meadows, yards;
  • Diet: Most herbivores, some predators; Some eat plant juices/other insects;
  • Misc: Foul-smelling substance from thoracic glands, includes aldehydes;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (483) 111, 128, 152, 175, 236

Piercing/sucking mouth; FW hemelytra; Short legs for climbing on plants, tibae with weak or no spines; 5 seg antennae; Ocelli present; 5-18 mm; Green/brown in color; Shaped like a trapezoid, triangular scutellum on back of body; Foul-smelling substance from thoracic glands, includes aldehydes; Scutellum typically ½ inch long, trapezoidal in shape; Spring-Fall; Agricultural pests, eat crops & immune to pesticide, some good for pest control; Fields, meadows, yards; Most herbivores, some predators; Some eat plant juices/other insects;

Table for Distingushing Hemiptera Families

Hemiptera Quick-ID
Family Name Characteristics
Corixidae Legs scoop-like; Eyes don't protrude from head; Darkly-colored top;
Notonectidae Fringed legs; Eyes somewhat protrude from head; Lightly-colored top;
Belostomatidae Raptorial FL; Male w/ eggs on back; Eyes don't protrude from head;
Nepidae Antennae not visible; Can be either fat or skinny; FL Raptorial; 2 breathing tubes;
Gelostocoridae Camouflaged; Eyes somewhat protrude from head;
Gerridae FL short; ML long, HL long, ML near HL; No breathing tubes;
Cimicidae Oval, flat, wingless;
Miridae Cuneus (crease at bottom of wing) rather pronounced
Lygaeidae Cuneus absent, Forewings not heavily veined
Coreidae Some have very large HL; Have scent glands
Pentatomidae Scutellum- large and triangular; Shield-shaped

Homoptera (aphids, cicadas, hoppers)

  • Head: Antennae variable; Piercing-sucking mouthparts form a “beak”;
  • Thorax: FW either transparent or colored, thickened, fold tent-like over body; 1-3 seg tarsi;
  • Human Impact: Many are pests of fruit trees & grain crops, & can be vectors of plant diseases, A few provide secretions or other products that are beneficial & have commercial value; Some transmit plant diseases (aphids);
  • Habitat: Abundant worldwide, most terrestrial herbivores;
  • Diet: Feed on plants
  • Explanation of Name: “Homo” – same, “ptera” – wings (uniform texture of wings);

Piercing-sucking form a “beak”; FW either transparent or colored, thickened, fold tent-like over body; Antennae variable; Size variable; Short proboscis, 1-3 seg tarsi; Many are pests; Some transmit plant diseases (ap Piercing-sucking form a “beak” for sucking sap; FW either transparent or colored, thickened, fold tent-like over body with membranous portions overlapping; Tarsi 1-3 segmented; Antennae slender or bristle-like; Size variable; Many are pests of fruit trees & grain crops, & can be vectors of plant diseases, A few provide secretions or other products that are beneficial & have commercial value; Some transmit plant diseases (aphids); Abundant worldwide, most terrestrial herbivores; “Homo” – same, “ptera” – wings (uniform texture of wings);

Cicadidae (cicadas)

  • Head: Sucking mouthparts that attach at base of head; Short antennae between eyes; 3 ocelli form triangle at top of head, bulging round compound eyes on corners of head;
  • Thorax: 4 membranous wings folded over back like roof of house; Strong FL for digging (have claw), non-jumping;
  • Abdomen: Special panels at base of abdomen called tymbals that make sound;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Males produce sound;
  • Life Cycle: Appear each year in July/August, life cycle = 2-5 years, broods overlap, adults are present each year, Periodical cicadas have life cycle of 13-17 years, adults are only present certain years, 17 year cicadas = usu northern, 13 years = southern;
  • Misc Anatomy: 2-5cm; Variable color; Large, stout;
  • Human Impact: Don’t have much impact on humans, don’t bite/sting, laying of eggs can damage trees;
  • Habitat: Habitats with warm summers, need trees or large woody bushes & soil that is not too wet;
  • Diet: Preyed on by: wasps, mantids, beetles; Eat plant juices;
  • Sociality: Some are solitary, others gather in groups to mate;
  • Explanation of Name:
  • Misc: Eaten by birds/squirrels; Sound they make isn't considered stridulation;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (490) 289, 290, 291

Sucking mouthparts that attach at base of head; Short antennae between eyes; 3 ocelli form triangle at top of head, bulging round compound eyes on corners of head; 4 membranous wings folded over back like roof of house; Strong FL for digging (have claw), non-jumping; 2-5cm; Variable color; Special panels at base of abdomen called tymbals that make sound; Eaten by birds/squirrels; Sound made isn’t considered stridulation; Don’t have much impact on humans, don’t bite/sting, laying of eggs can damage trees; Large, stout; Appear each year in July/August, life cycle = 2-5 years, broods overlap, adults are present each year, Periodical cicadas have life cycle of 13-17 years, adults are only present certain years, 17 year cicadas = usu northern, 13 years = southern; Males produce sound; Habitats with warm summers, need trees or large woody bushes & soil that is not too wet; Preyed on by: wasps, mantids, beetles; Eat plant juices; Some are solitary, others gather in groups to mate;

Membracidae (treehoppers)

  • Head: Use beaks to pierce plant stems;
  • Thorax: Large pronotum covers the head & extends backwards over the abdomen;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Only difference between males & females is genetalia;
  • Life Cycle: Only live for a few months; Eggs laid in twigs, terminal portion of twigs dies;
  • Misc Anatomy: ~2-12mm; Cryptically colored; Humpbacked appearance, some shaped like thorns; Armed with spines & needles for defense;
  • Human Impact: Cause damage by depositing eggs into trees;
  • Habitat: Found on grass/bushes
  • Diet: Herbivores, some mutualists with ants & wasps; Feed on trees, shrubs, sap, nymphs feed on weeds & grasses;
  • Sociality: Many are gregarious
  • Explanation of Name: AKA thorn bugs
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (492) 106, 107, 109, 110

Use beaks to pierce plant stems; ~2-12mm; Cryptically colored; Humpbacked appearance, some shaped like thorns; Large pronotum covers the head & extends backwards over the abdomen; Armed with spines & needles for defense; Only dif between males & females is genetalia; Cause damage by depositing eggs into trees; Only live for a few months; Found on grass/bushes; Herbivores, some mutualists with ants & wasps; Feed on trees, shrubs, sap, nymphs feed on weeds & grasses; many gregarious; Also called thorn bugs; Eggs laid in twigs, terminal portion of twigs dies;

Cercopidae (froghoppers, spittlebugs)

  • Head: 2 ocelli;
  • Thorax: Hind tibia have few" of large spines at the distal end; Pronotum doesn’t extend over abdomen;
  • Abdomen: Specialized Malpighian tubules of immature froghoppers synthesize products that make the filtered sap viscous;
  • Life Cycle: Spittle in nymph stage used to hide from predators, insulate against head/cold, provides moisture;
  • Misc Anatomy: Rarely over 13mm; Colored to mimic other species; Jump from plant to plant, some 70cm vertically;
  • Human Impact: Some agricultural pests;
  • Diet: Nymphs pierce plants & suck sap;
  • Explanation of Name: ‘Spittlebug’- encase themselves in spittle as nymphs; (spittle secreted from anus);
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (495) 65

2 ocelli; Hind tibia have few" of large spines at the distal end; Pronotum doesn’t extend over abdomen; specialized Malpighian tubules of immature froghoppers synthesize products that make the filtered sap viscous; Rarely over 13mm; Colored to mimic other species; Jump from plant to plant, some 70cm vertically; Some agricultural pests; Nymphs pierce plants & suck sap; ‘Spittlebug’- encase themselves in spittle as nymphs; (spittle secreted from anus); Spittle in nymph stage used to hide from predators, insulate against head/cold, provides moisture;

Cicadellidae (leafhoppers)

  • Head: Piercing-sucking mouth, use to tap into & feed upon xylem or phloem (sap) tissue of plants; Thickened part of antennae very short & ends with a bristle (arista); 2 ocelli on top of head; Wide, blunt head;
  • Thorax: FW thickened & colored; HL for jumping; Hind tibae have one or more rows of small spines, 3 seg tarsi, femora are at front some with weak spines, good jumpers;
  • Life Cycle: Most live a few weeks or months, some overwinter & live ~ a year;
  • Misc Anatomy: Usu under 13 mm; Some colorful; Body usu tapers posteriorly & is parallel sided; Have tymbals;
  • Human Impact: Some damage trees by egg-laying; Some transmit plant pathogens, phytoplasma, susceptible to Dicistroviridae viruses (insect diseases);
  • Habitat: Deserts, grasslands, wetlands, & forests; Very active;
  • Diet: Herbivores, preyed on by spiders, birds, parasitic wasps; Feed on plant juices/stems or leaves of plants;
  • Sociality: Not particularly social but communicate by emitting vibrations that carry down the stems they are on;
  • Explanation of Name: AKA sharpshooters;
  • Misc: Secrete honeydew from anus, attracts ants, use brochosomes;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (496) 112, 113, 114

Piercing-sucking mouth, use to tap into & feed upon xylem or phloem (sap) tissue of plants; Thickened part of antennae very short & ends with a bristle (arista); 2 ocelli on top of head; Wide, blunt head; FW thickened & colored; HL for jumping; Hind tibae have one or more rows of small spines, 3 seg tarsi, femora are at front some with weak spines, good jumpers; Usu under 13 mm; Some colorful; Body usu tapers posteriorly & is parallel sided; Most live a few weeks or months, some overwinter & live ~ a year; Some damage trees by egg-laying; Have tymbals; Secrete honeydew from anus, attracts ants, use brochosomes; Not particularly social but communicate by emitting vibrations that carry down the stems they are on; Some transmit plant pathogens, phytoplasma, susceptible to Dicistroviridae viruses (insect diseases); Deserts, grasslands, wetlands, & forests; Very active; Herbivores, preyed on by spiders, birds, parasitic wasps; Feed on plant juices/stems or leaves of plants; AKA sharpshooters;

Fulgoridae (fulgorid planthoppers)

  • Head: Antennae on side of head beneath compound eyes; Head of some is a hollow structure, like a snout that is sometimes inflated & nearly as large as the body of the insect
  • Thorax: Some wingless, anal area of HW with many cross veins;
  • Misc Anatomy: Some elongated;
  • Habitat: Most diverse in tropics;
  • Diet: Feed on trees, suck plant juices;
  • Explanation of Name: AKA lantern-flies, but don’t emit light;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (498) 108

Some wingless, anal area of HW with many cross veins; Antennae on side of head beneath compound eyes; Head of some is a hollow structure, like a snout that is sometimes inflated & nearly as large as the body of the insect; Most diverse in tropics; Some elongated; Feed on trees, suck plant juices; AKA lantern-flies, but don’t emit light;

Aphididae (aphids)

  • Head: Antennae 5-6 seg, fairly long; Small eyes; Sucking mouthparts (in a long, segmented rostrum);
  • Thorax: Don’t jump or hop, move slowly; Some wingless (wings in special conditions), FW with Rs present & M branched, wings held vertically over body;
  • Abdomen: Cornicles or siphunculi on abdomen;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Females larger;
  • Life Cycle: Live a few weeks-months; Overwinter as eggs; Complex life cycle, Females parthenogenetic; (See Audubon Field Guide for more info on parthenogenesis)
  • Misc Anatomy: A few mm in length; Come in many colors- red to black (most green); Soft-bodied & pear-shaped;
  • Human Impact: Crop pests; Carry diseases from plant-plant;
  • Habitat: Found near their food plants, stems, leaves, & flowers;
  • Diet: Suck juices out of plants; Predators of aphids include ladybugs, flower-fly larvae, parasitic wasps, small spiders, ants, thrips, mites;
  • Sociality: Some live with ants, ants gather aphid eggs & keep them during the winter & transport them to food plants, ants feed on aphid’s honeydew;
  • Explanation of Name: AKA greenflies;
  • Misc: Move slowly, have many ways of defending selves from predators (running, kicking…); Secrete honeydew from anus;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (501) 27, 59, 61, 62, 63

Antennae 5-6 seg, fairly long; Small eyes; Sucking mouthparts (in a long, segmented rostrum); Don’t jump or hop, move slowly; Some wingless (wings in special conditions), FW with Rs present & M branched, wings held vertically over body; A few mm in length; Live a few weeks-months; Come in many colors- red to black (most green); Females larger; Soft-bodied & pear-shaped; Cornicles or siphunculi on abdomen; Overwinter as eggs; Move slowly, have many ways of defending selves from predators (running, kicking…); Can carry diseases; Predators of aphids- ladybugs, flower-fly larvae, parasitic wasps, small spiders, ants, thrips, mites; Some live with ants, ants gather aphid eggs & keep them during the winter & transport them to food plants, ants feed on aphid’s honeydew; Secrete honeydew from anus; Complex life cycle, Females parthenogenetic; Crop pests; Carry diseases from plant-plant; Found near their food plants, stems, leaves, & flowers; Suck juices out of plant; AKA greenflies;

Dactylopiidae(scale (twig or leaf))

  • Head: Lack mouthparts and antennae;
  • Thorax: Males have wings, all lack legs;
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Adult females turn bright red when crushed;
  • Life Cycle: 3 instars in the female & 5 in the male. There are 3 to 6 generations each year, & development is continuous;
  • Misc Anatomy: Small; Red;
  • Human Impact: Used to produce red dye, some used for bio control, Pests;
  • Habitat: Live on cacti, prickly pears;
  • Explanation of Name: AKA cochineals because of most well-known species;
  • Misc: Sessile (can’t move), cover their soft bodies with a waxy covering;
  • Audubon Plate Numbers: (512) 52

Lack mouthparts, wings (males winged, females –less), legs, antennae; Small; Red; Adult females turn bright red when crushed; Sessile (can’t move), cover their soft bodies with a waxy covering; 3 instars in the female & 5 in the male. There are 3 to 6 generations each year, & development is continuous; Used to produce red dye, some used for bio control, Pests; Live on cacti, prickly pears; AKA cochineals because of most well-known species;

Table for Distinguishing Homoptera Families

Homoptera Quick-ID
Family Name Characteristics
Cicadidae Eyes- small, on side of head, somewhat stick out;
Membracidae Some resemble thorns, cryptically colored and shaped (resemble things in environment); Pronotum = the part that's oddly shaped;
Cercopidae 1-2 spines on hind tibiae;
Cicadellidae Thinner than Cercopidae, row of spines on hind tibia;
Fulgoridae Snout very pronounced; Colorful;
Aphididae Pear shaped, secrete honeydew;
Dactylopiidae Look 'fluffy', Carmitic acid- produced by them'