True Bugs, Aphids, Cicadas, Hoppers, and Kin, Order Hemiptera
A huge assemblage of different insects that all have sucking mouthparts and all can be properly called a “bug.” In the past all in this group actually were broken into two orders. Now the current taxonomy is one order divided up into three major suborders. I’ve divided this large category into these three suborders.
The insects in the order Hemiptera include some of our most recognized including the musical cicadas, colorful leafhoppers, pests such as aphids, mealybugs and whiteflies, and assasin, stink and water bugs. Many of the bugs that suck plant juices also secrete honeydew, a sweet tasting liquid prized by other insects, especially ants. In fact, many ants guard with their life and launce an all out attack on anything messing with their aphid or leafhopper “cows.” Others in this group are predators, such as assassin bugs, and readily take much larger prey with their lance-like beak and potent saliva.