Key Difference – Homoptera vs Hemiptera
Homoptera and Hemiptera are two insect groups. The key difference between Homoptera and Hemiptera is that the Homoptera is a plant feeder that uses its antennae to suck the plant juice to fulfill its nutrition requirement while Hemiptera is both a plant and a blood feeder.
Insects are a diverse group of organisms that are mostly considered as pests or parasites. Parasites are organisms that benefit by harming the host organism. Parasitism is a kind of symbiotic relationship where one organism is benefitted from the other.
What is Homoptera?
Homoptera is a group of sucking insects that contains more than 32,000 species. Their diversity greatly depends on the size of the organisms belonging to this group. These species are plant feeders. Their mouthparts are specialized for sucking plants sap. The sources for sap include a variety of trees including both cultivating species and wild species. The homopterans cause damage to the plant during feeding. The damage could be either a temporary injury or total destruction of the plant and it depends on the plant species. Homopterans could also act as disease vectors of viruses and bacteria that cause diseases in their host plant.
Homopterans could be divided into two groups, Auchenorrhyncha and Sternorrhyncha. Under Auchenorrhyncha, species such as cicadas, treehoppers, spittlebugs, leafhoppers, and planthoppers are included while under Sternorrhyncha, species such as aphids, phylloxerans, coccids, scales, whiteflies, and mealybugs are included.
Most of the homopterans are present in a size range of 4 mm to 12 mm. However, there are species with a length of 8 cm and some species with a wingspread length of 20 cm. But most of the species falls under the first category of the size range.
What is Hemiptera?
The Hemiptera is an order of insects that are defined as true bugs. The Hemiptera group of insects is a very large group consisting about 75000 species. Most of the species are different from each other, but they all contain piercing mouthparts. This is used to suck juices from plants. They use this plant juice as a form of nutrition and this form of nutrition is known as parasitism. Under the category of hemipterans, cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, leafhoppers, and shield bugs are included.
The Hemiptera species are also called as aphids or plant feeders. The aphids are capable of pathogenesis. The young ones of the insects are produced from unfertilized eggs. They are serious pests and also transmit plant diseases such as plant viral diseases. There are biopesticides that are developed against these aphids. These biopesticides include Bacillus thuringiensis. Even though most of the species belong to this category are plant feeders, a considerable amount of organisms depends on other insect species and small invertebrates. In the context of the habitats, hemipterans are present in a wide variety of habitats. Generally, they are present in terrestrial environments and aquatic environments.
Most Hemiptera species have long antennae. These antennae are divided into a number of segments. Some species have hardened wings and they resemble beetles. The life cycle of Hemiptera species shows incomplete metamorphosis. The different life cycle stages include the egg stage, the adult-like nymph stage, and the matured winged adult stage.
What are the Similarities Between Homoptera and Hemiptera?
- Both Homoptera and Hemiptera groups are parasitic insects.
- Both Homoptera and Hemiptera belong to the group Heteroptera.
- Both Homoptera and Hemiptera show incomplete metamorphosis.
What is the Difference Between Homoptera and Hemiptera?
Homoptera vs Hemiptera
|Homopterans are a group of sucking insects that totally depend on plants.||Hemipterans are a group of insects that are both plant and blood feeders.|
|Mode of Nutrition|
|Homopterans are plant feeders.||Hemipterans are plant and blood feeders.|
|Toughened Areas on the First Air of Wings|
|Homopterans lack toughened areas on the first pair of wings.||Hemipterans have toughened areas on the first pair of wings.|
|Homopterans have same wings.||Hemipterans have half wings.|
|Homopteran species hold their wings roof-like over their backs.||Hemipteran species hold their wings flat over their backs with the two membranous portions overlapping.|
Summary – Homoptera vs Hemiptera
Homoptera, it is a group of sucking insects that contains more than 32,000 species. They totally depend on plants. Homopterans could be divided into two groups; Auchenorrhyncha and Sternorrhyncha. Under Auchenorrhyncha species such as cicadas and treehoppers are present whilst under Sternorrhyncha, aphids, and phylloxerans are present. They act as disease vectors of virus and bacteria. Hemipterans are a group of insects, and they belong to the category of both plant and blood feeders. Most of the species are different from each other, but they all contain piercing mouthparts. The life cycle of Hemiptera species shows incomplete metamorphosis. The aphids are capable of pathogenesis. Their young ones are produced from unfertilized eggs. Both these groups are completely parasitic and belong to the group Heteroptera. This is the difference between Homoptera and Hemiptera.
1.“True bugs (Order: Hemiptera).” True bugs (Order: Hemiptera) – Amateur Entomologists’ Society (AES). Available here
2.DeLong, Dwight Moore. “Homopteran.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., 2 Mar. 2014. Available here
3.“Hemiptera and Homoptera.” Introduction to the Hemiptera and Homoptera. Available here
1.’Homoptera. Common Froghopper. Philaenus spumarius – Flickr – gailhampshire’By gailhampshire from Cradley, Malvern, U.K – Homoptera. Common Froghopper. Philaenus spumarius, (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2.’Hemiptera – London, Ontario 04’By Ryan Hodnett – Own work, (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia