True Bugs are distinguished from other insects by the sharp mouth part and partially hard forewing. This order includes shield bugs, assassin bugs, cicadas, aphids, plant hoppers, etc. Some authorities split cicadas, aphids, plant hoppers, scale insects, etc into a separate order (Homoptera). However, we'll follow the following taxonomy:
- Suborder Sternorrhyncha (aphids, scale insects, etc)
- Suborder Auchenorrhyncha (cicadas, hoppers, etc)
- Suborder Heteroptera (true bugs)
- The fourth and last suborder, Coleorrhyncha, is not known to exist in Singapore.
Suborder Sternorrhyncha (aphids, scale insects, etc)
Aphids and mealy bugs are pests which feed on plant saps.
Suborder Auchenorrhyncha (cicadas, hoppers, etc)
This suborder consists of 4 superfamilies:
- Superfamily Cicadoidea (cicadas)
- Superfamily Membracoidea (tree/leafhoppers)
- Superfamily Cercopoidea (froghoppers/spittlebugs)
- Superfamily Fulgoroidea (planthoppers)
Cicadas (Superfamily Cicadoidea)
Cicadas are the noisy insects of the forests. In Singapore, most of them are drab looking, but sometimes colourful ones can be found too.
Leafhoppers (Family Cicadellidae)
Treehoppers (Family Membracidae)
Planthoppers (Superfamily Fulgoroidea)
Planthoppers are so called because their body resembles the plants they hang out on and the fact that they do hop.
Suborder Heteroptera (true bugs)
Assassin Bugs (Family Reduviidae) are predatory bugs with a long sharp mouth piece.
Ant-snatching Assassin Bug (Acanthaspis petax) and Acanthaspis quadriannulata at Dairy Farm ©Eddy Lee
Shield Bugs (Superfamily Pentatomoidea) are characterised by the triangular plate on the back. They are also called Stink Bugs because they give off a stinking smell when threatened.
Squash Bugs (Family Coreidae) look like Shield Bugs.
Cotton Stainers (Family Pyrrhocoridae) are so called because when they are harvested with cotton, they get crushed and stain the cotton.