True Bugs

The True Bugs group are generally flattened and can vary from 1-13 mm in size. This group includes shield bugs, leaf- and froghoppers. Some have two pairs of wings folded over the body, the front or outer pair of each divided into a leathery bottom part and a membranous top part (it looks like they have half a wing) making an X or Y shape. Others have toughened or membranous forewings held tent-like over the body. They have hypodermic-needle-like mouthparts with which they can suck the juices from plants and animals. It actually looks like a long beak and works much like a straw. Hemiptera also have antennae with very few joints (segments), usually about 4-5.

Scientific name


Did you know..

There are 1700 species of True Bugs in the UK and around 30 species of shieldbugs. Many shieldbugs are large and colourful with most species feeding on plants but there are some predatory ones. Shieldbugs can produce noxious smelly chemicals when attacked, so their other common name is Stinkbug!

Similar species

beetles, but true bugs have piercing mouthparts which are not retractable. The key difference between true bugs and other insects is their mouth parts. Also, beetles often have hard shiny outer wing covers whereas True bugs are often leathery.

Useful links

For more information on Hemiptera

Record a sighting