Lalitha Bhai*

The Hemiptera are called 'true' bugs because everyone entomologists included tend to call all insects 'bugs'. That's a broad phrase, but genuine bugs are only those belonging to the insect order Hemiptera. With over 75,000 species worldwide, this category of insects is extraordinarily diverse. In the British Isles, there are approximately 1,700 of these. Many of them are dissimilar to one another, but they all have piercing mouthparts that allow them to suck the juices from plants or animals primarily plants. When not in use, their mouthparts are housed in a beak (or rostrum), which is normally carried beneath the body.

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