Homopteran Bugs

The 45000+ species of homopteran bugs were formerly lumped into a single sub-order, but are now recognised to comprise two separate sub-orders: the Auchenorrhyncha and the Sternorrhyncha. They are a very diverse group of insects ranging from very large cicadas to minute aphids and scale insects. In all cases, the one unifying feature of them all are the very similar mouthparts, and it is this similarity in anatomy that also ties them to the Heteroptera.


Sub-order: Auchenorrhyncha

The taxonomy of the Auchenorrhyncha is a complex and constantly changing issue. Formerly, the Auchenorrhyncha encompassed all the Cicadas, leafhoppers, froghoppers, spittlebugs and planthoppers, but recent molecular studies coupled with traditional morphological analysis suggests that the planthoppers (Fulgoroidea) are more closely related to the Heteroptera and should be placed in a sub-order of their own, provisionally called the Archaeorrhyncha. Another study examining the structures around the forewing base found no significant reason for a split favoured the traditional monophyletic treatment. Obviously more work needs to be done to resolve this issue, so in the meantime I have taken the conservative approach and stuck with the more traditional classification.

Sub-order: Sternorrhyncha