|true bug (tr) Pronunciation Key
Any of various insects of the group Heteroptera. True bugs usually have soft flat bodies, well-developed antennae, and stink glands. They include the water bugs, water striders, bedbugs, cinch bugs, lace bugs, and assassin bugs. Some scientists classify the true bugs as a suborder of the order Hemiptera rather than as a separate insect order. See Note at bug.
any member of the insect order Heteroptera, which comprises the so-called true bugs. (Some authorities use the name Hemiptera; others consider both the heteropterans and the homopterans to be suborders of the Hemiptera.) This large group of insects, consisting of more than 40,000 species, can be recognized by an X-shaped design on the back, which is formed by the wings at rest. A combination of features-sucking mouthparts adapted to pierce plant or animal tissues and a hardened gula (underside of the head)-separate the heteropterans from all other insect orders. Although most species of Heteroptera are terrestrial, a few are aquatic. Some species, which feed on plant juices, are serious pests of cultivated crops; other species are predacious and benefit man by destroying various pests. There also are heteropterans that act as carriers of disease.
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