Cicadas Hoppers Whiteflies Aphids and Scale Insects Order Homoptera

Identification: Mouth parts similar to those in Hemiptera, but beak usually short and rising at back of head, sometimes appearing to rise between front coxae. Winged or wingless. Winged forms with 4 wings (rarely only 2), FW membranous or thickened, HW membranous and a little shorter than FW, wings at rest usually held rooflike over body. Tarsi 1- to 3-segmented. Antennae variable, sometimes short and bristlelike, sometimes long and threadlike, rarely absent. 9 often with a well-developed ovipositor. Metamorphosis usually simple.

Similar orders: (1) Hemiptera (p. 112): FW nearly always thickened at base and membranous at tip; beak usually rising at front of head. (2, 3) Coleoptera and Orthoptera (pp. 146, 76) mouth parts chewing.

Immature stages: Usually similar to adult but with wings absent or vestigial.

Habits: Homoptera are plant feeders, and each species usually feeds on a particular part of a few species of plants. The feeding results in discoloration, distortion, wilting, or stunting of the plant, and heavily infested plants are sometimes killed. A few homopterans cause the development of plant galls. Importance: Many members of this order are serious pests of cultivated plants, causing damage by feeding and sometimes by serving as vectors of plant diseases.

Classification and identification: Two suborders, Auchenorrhyncha and Sternorrhyncha, each of which is divided into superfamilies. Most families are separated by easily seen characters, but scale insects can generally be identified to family only from specimens mounted on microscope slides. Many wingless Sternorrhyncha will be difficult or impossible to identify unless one is familiar with their life history.

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