Hemiptera , an order of insects, including what are generally called bugs, harvest flies, tree hoppers, plant lice, etc. They are socking insects, having neither mandibles nor maxillae proper, but a horny beak, curved along the breast when not in use, containing in its groove delicate sharp bristles by which their punctures are made. They have four wings, of which the upper are generally thick at the base and membranous at the ends, being as it were half elytra and half wings, whence the name of the order (from half, and wing); in a few all the wings are membranous, and some are wingless, as the bedbug. The eyes are large, the antenna' generally small, and the tarsi in most three-minted. They undergo a partial transformation, the larvae and pupae resembling the adults except in the absence of wings and the smaller size; in all the stages they live in the same way, and in all are equally active. The bugs or true hemiptera (H. he-teroptera) have the semi opaque wing covers laid horizontally on the top of the back, crossing each other obliquely at the end; their wings are horizontal and not plaited; the beak issues from the fore part of the head, and is bent abruptly backward beneath the breast, English entomologists have separated the harvest flies, tree hoppers, plant lice, etc., under the name of H. homoptera. because the wing covers are of the same texture throughout, either transparent or opaque; they do not cross each other, are not horizontal, but with the wings are more or less inclined at the sides of the body; the beak issues from the under side of the head ; the insects of this division live on vegetable juices, while those of the preceding live also upon animal fluids.
In the first division, the family geocorisoe (Latr.), or earth bugs, have the antenna) exposed and longer than the head; most are terrestrial, but some live on the surface of water; many emit a disagreeable odor. The genus pentatoma (Oliv.), or wood bugs, occur chiefly in warm countries, where they attain a considerable size, and are marked with brilliant colors; they live on vegetable juices, and sometimes on those of other insects; they exhale a disagreeable odor, and adhere to whatever they touch; De Geer relates that the young of the P. gri-seum (Linn.) in troops of 30 or 40 follow their mother on trees as chickens follow a hen. In the genus coreus (Fab.) the head is generally triangular, sunk without apparent neck into the thorax; the eyes small but prominent; the legs long and slender; they feed both on vegetable and animal juices, exhale a strong odor, and present often strange forms and spiny armature. Here belongs the well known squash bug (C. tristis, De Geer), which emits a powerful odor when handled.
In the genus lygoeus (Fab.) belong the chinch bugs, so destructive in the fields of corn and wheat at the south and west; the white-winged species (L. leu-copterus, Say) is provided with wings, and is about 3/20 of an inch long; the general color is black, with white wing covers margined with black, and reddish yellow legs, beak, and hinder edge of thorax; the young and wingless ones are bright red. Small plant bugs of the genus phytocoris are very destructive in flower and vegetable gardens; one species in particular enters into the long list which have been erroneously supposed to produce the potato rot. The genus syrtis (Fab.) have a single claw on the anterior feet, with which they seize flies and other insects; the "tiger" so destructive to pear trees in Europe belongs to the genus tingis (Fab.); the bedbug (cimex lectularius) has been described under Epizoa; a species of reduvius is destructive to the cotton crop, staining the balls red, and causing them to fall prematurely; hydrometra and some allied species run upon the surface of water, and have been found in considerable numbers in mid ocean in the tropics.
In the family hydrocorisoe, or water bugs, belongs the genus nepa (Linn), commonly called water scorpions, from having the anterior legs in the form of hooked nippers; they prey upon other insects, and are very voracious; in some tribes the posterior legs are much ciliated, resembling oars, enabling them to swim with great swiftness, and often on their backs. - In the homopterous division, the three principal tribes are the cicadadoe, already described under Harvest Fly; aphididoe, or plant lice, noticed under Aphis; and the coccidoe, or bark lice, described under Cochineal. In some of the cicadadoe, according to Dufour, the stomach or chylific ventricle is remarkably long, with many convolutions of an intestine-like tube ascending and reopening into its cavity - a remarkable physiological fact. The lantern fly (fulgora), said to <rive forth a light from the end of its prolonged snout, has been alluded to under Fire-fly. The tree hoppers (membracis, Fab.) have the habits of the harvest flies, but they make no drumming sound, and leap and fly to a considerable distance, even to 250 times their length; they pass their time on plants, always placed lengthwise of the limbs, with the head toward the end of the branches; from their conical shape, dark color, and fixed position, they look much like the thorns of a tree; locust and oak trees and many vines suffer from the abstraction of their sap by these insects and from the injury done to their leaves.
Tree hoppers are often surrounded by ants, for the sake of their droppings or for the sap which oozes from their punctures. The frog hoppers (cercopis, Fab.) possess still greater leaping powers; the larvae extract the sap of alders, willows, etc, in such quantity that it oozes from their bodies continually in little bubbles, whose white foam completely covers them during the period of their transformation; this is called frog spittle and cuckoo spittle. The leaf hoppers (tettigonia, Geoffr.) are very small, but handsome, agile, and destructive to vegetation; vines, rosaceous plants, beans, etc, suffer much from their exhausting punctures; tobacco fumigations and the application of whale-oil soap in solution are the best remedies. Some plant lice have the power of leaping, though both sexes, when mature, are winged; these belong to the genus psylla (Geoffr.), live on pear and other trees, sucking the juices of the young twigs, and are far less prolific than the aphides; these sap suckers are attended by swarms of ants and flies, attracted by the sweet fluid which flows from their bodies; young trees are often killed by them.
From the family coccidoe are obtained the scarlet grain and cochineal of commerce, now ascertained to bo insects or bark lice of the genus coccus (Linn.) (see Cochineal); the mealy bug of our greenhouses is the C. Adoni-dum; the C. hesperidum infests the myrtle. These lice are destroyed by the wren, chickadee, and ichneumon flies; strong soap and alkaline solutions will also kill them.
1, 2. Tree Hopper (Membracis). 3. Water Scorpion (Nepa).