Hemiptera


Sub-order: Heteroptera (true bugs)


There are some 15 families in the sub-order Heteroptera, of which the most familiar are the 4 families of Shieldbugs.

There are around 8 species of Shieldbug found in Scotland. They look somewhat like beetles but have sucking mouthparts instead of mandibles and their young (called nymphs) pass through several moults, becoming more like adults at each stage.


Superfamily: Pentatomoidea . . . Family: Acanthosomatidae

Copyright: Steve Terry

Birch Shieldbug (Elasmostethus interstinctus) - late instar nymph


Superfamily: Pentatomoidea . . . Family: Acanthosomatidae

Copyright: Steve Terry

Hawthorn Shieldbug (Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale)


Superfamily: Pentatomoidea . . . Family: Pentatomidae

Copyright: Steve Terry

Spiked Shieldbug (Picromerus bidens)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Red-legged Shieldbug (Pentatoma rufipes)


Family: Miridae

The large and diverse insect family Miridae contains the plant bugs, leaf bugs, and grass bugs, and are also known as capsid bugs.
Copyright: Steve Terry

Lygocoris rugicollis

Found on Salix species throughout the UK.

Copyright: Steve Terry

Closterotomus norwegicus (Potato Capsid)

This common and widespread bug can be found in meadows and hedgerows across Britain, where it feeds on a wide range of plants, especially nettles, composites and clovers.

Copyright: Steve Terry

Lygus wagneri

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Leptopterna ferrugata (female)


Family: Nabidae (damsel bugs)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Marsh Damsel Bug (Nabis limbatus) - male

Copyright: Steve Terry

Marsh Damsel Bug (Nabis limbatus) - female


Family: Tingidae (lacebugs)


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Sub-order: Auchorrhyncha


The Auchenorrhyncha suborder of the Hemiptera contains most of the familiar members of what was called the Homoptera groups such as cicadas, leafhoppers, treehoppers, planthoppers, and spittlebugs.


Family: Cicadellidae (Leafhoppers)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Cicadella viridis (adult female)


Adults reach 69 millimetres in length, with the female being larger than the male.
They can be found in damp grassland from July to October.
The forewings are turquoise green in the females, but much darker in the males.
They feed on the sap of various species of herbaceous plants, mainly Juncus and Carex.


Family: Circopidae (Froghoppers)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Philaenus spumarius

Copyright: Steve Terry

Philaenus spumarius

Copyright: Steve Terry

Philaenus spumarius


Family: Cixiidae (Planthoppers)

Copyright: Steve Terry

Cixius cunicularis


Sub-order: Sternorrhyncha

The Sternorrhyncha suborder of the Hemiptera contains the aphids, whiteflies, and scale insects, groups which were traditionally included in the order Homoptera. "Sternorrhyncha" refers to the rearward position of the mouthparts relative to the head.


Superfamily: Aphidoidea


Useful links: British Bugs