Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University System
Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University

Order Hemiptera


Hemiptera usually have four wings folded flat over the body. There is often a visible triangle at the center of the back that the wing bases do not cover called the scutellum. The front pair are thickened and leathery at the base with membranous tips or ends. Mouthparts are formed for piercing and sucking and the beak arises from the front part of the head.

They are found on plants and animals, or in water. Some true bugs cause considerable plant damage by their feeding. Some are beneficial because they prey on other insects. A few bite humans on occasion.

Metamorphosis is gradual, with immatures usually quite like the adults but wingless. Most are under 1/2-inch long but some forms especially aquatic ones may be over 2 inches long.

Insects in this order are: A giant water bug, tarnished plant bug, chinch bug.

See Hemiptera for all listings in this order.

A giant water bug, Lethocerus sp. Photo by Drees.
Click on image to enlarge
A giant water bug,
Lethocerus sp.
(Hemiptera: Belastomatidae).
 Photo by Drees.

From the book:
Field Guide to Texas Insects,
Drees, B.M. and John Jackman,
Copyright 1999, Gulf Publishing Company,
Houston, Texas

A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects, Bastiaan M. Drees and John A. Jackman.
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University •  Department of Entomology  •  412 Heep Center, TAMU 2475
College Station, TX 77843-2475 • 979.845.2516
Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University