Thursday, September 04, 2008

When is a beetle not a beetle?

When it's a chinche roja, a Gendarme Bug, a Gemeine Feuerwanze, a Pyrrhocoris apterus, a Fire Bug.

Oh, and a Milkweed Bug isn't a beetle either, because like the Firebug, it's a Hemiptera/Heteroptera, or True Bug, ok?!

While hemi - ptera actually means half - wings, the important characteristic of this group is in the formation of the mouth. (If you'd like to know more, follow the link, but it makes me queasy: I like the shiny carapaces, not the business ends.) The sub-group Heteroptera means Different Wings. Now we're really getting somewhere!

For more examples of What I Saw on My Holiday/Found in the Woodshed/Got Bitten by on the Beach/Had for Breakfast in the Desert/Found in my Sleeping Bag in the Woods, check out the fascinating website What's that Bug?, where you will find this holiday snap from Kazakhstan!

(in True Bugs:Heteroptera page 5: find it in the excellent sidebar index.)


nzm said...

Gawd - you're turning into a regular entomologist!

Keefieboy said...

Pls stop blogging about bugs - it gives me da heebie-jeebies.

MamaDuck said...

It's ok. I think I've got that out of my system. I had no idea how complex and sophisticated - and vast - the bug world is. Mind-boggling. If I were a seven-year-old embarking on a life-long adventure with butterfly net and jam jar, it migh be different, but as it is, I never 'ad hentomological hambitions, I just wanted to Name that Beetle - even if it wasn't a beetle after all!