Beetle or true bug?

Several people have been asking me about “beetle” problems they are having on their plants. ¬†When I finally see the insect it’s not a beetle, but a true bug. So, how do you tell the difference between the two groups?

ten lined june beetle Beetles: Beetles have hardened forewings (the front wings), so they may look as if they have a straight line down their back. Beetles also have chewing mouthparts with mandibles.

True bugs: True bugs have their forewings hardened at the base and membranous at the end. This creates a triangular shape on their back. True brown stink bugbugs have piercing-sucking mouthparts (sort of an elongated beak) that fit on the underside of the body between the legs.

About wizzie.brown

Wizzie Brown is an Extension Program Specialist- IPM with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
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