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Insects

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Bugs

FroghopperFroghopper Bugs, often known as the true bugs, differ from other insects because they have long, beak-like mouthparts instead of biting jaws. They use them to pierce their food and suck up the liquid contents. Most feed on plant juices, but some hunt and feed on other animals. Carnivorous bugs either suck the blood of their victims or inject saliva into their bodies, liquefying the insides so they can be sucked out. Many live in water, either underwater or skipping across the thin film of the surface on their long legs. They grasp their prey with their forelegs in a similar way to a mantis.


Annual cicadaAnnual cicada

Species

With around 50,000 to 80,000 species, bugs include cicadas, aphids, leafhoppers, treehoppers, froghoppers and shield bugs. Most bugs feed on plant sap, while a few are predatory, feeding on other insects or small vertebrates. Some, including bedbugs and kissing bugs, are parasites: they feed on the blood of much larger animals.

Pond skaterPond skater Water bugs, such as the water boatmen and water scorpions, live in ponds or streams. They are usually carnivores. They use their legs like paddles to move through the water.

With an unlimited supply of food and no predators, a cabbage aphid could give birth to young, who could give birth to more young (and so on), creating 800 million tonnes of descendants in a single year—more than twice the weight of the world's entire human population.

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