These planthoppers are true bugs

Before, when the roly-polies rolled along and said, “hey, you know, we’re not actually bugs”, that got me thinking. What else isn’t a true bug?

I thought that if it was flying around me, crawling on me, or extracting my blood, it must be a bug. They’ve always been ‘bugs’ for as long as I’ve known. Where do you draw the line though? What about ants and caterpillars and spiders? Good grief! Not them too?! Well, it seems that if you want to be a member of the Bug Club (or the order Hemiptera to be precise), you’ll have to follow the rules:

Appearance Guidelines

  • have three pairs of segmented legs
  • have an exoskeleton
  • have a non-retractable probing mouth-part (called a proboscis)

Etiquette and Behavior

  • have an “incomplete metamorphosis”; skip the larva and pupa business and just be a nymph
  • participate in ecdysis (where they molt their exoskeleton) five times a year
  • put your wings over your body when you’re resting
  • use your scent gland when necessary

All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs. (The world gets weirder and more wonderful every day.) So whenever you meet a true bug, make sure that it’s following the rules. 😉