5 True Bugs Of The Rocky Mountains – The Real Deal

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Have you seen any of these true bugs? Photo via Flickr.

There may be tons of insects in the world, but not all of them are true bugs.  Here are 5 common true bugs of the Rocky Mountains.

I find it interesting that there is actually a difference between a bug, an insect, and a true bug.  I used to think all of those terms meant the same thing, but now I know better.  When we are taking about the natural world it’s important that we use the correct terms so that others can understand us.  A true bug is not the same as a ‘bug’.  Here is an explanation of a true bug and some examples of common true bugs you likely are familiar with in the Rocky Mountains.

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The Terms Bug, Insect, and True Bug Have Different Meanings

It is common for someone to use the terms bug or insect to mean the same thing.  They use those to refer to any number of small creatures, including insects, spiders, and centipedes.

The term insect is a specific type of animal that meets certain criteria and doesn’t include spiders and centipedes.  Read this old post about what makes an insect a insect for more information on this.

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Well, all true bugs are insects, but they are a group within insects that all have certain things in common.

What Is An Insect?

To understand what is a true bug it is first important to recall what makes an insect an insect.

All insects have certain characteristics that make them insects as opposed to a different kind of animal such as a bird or reptile.

All insects have 4 things in common: an exoskeleton, 6 legs, a three part body, and one pair of antennae.

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Photo via Flickr.

What Is A True Bug?

All true bugs must have the four things listed above because they are insects, but additionally they have some other characteristics in common.

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All true bugs belong to the order Hemiptera and have mouth parts made to poke and suck fluid, and two pairs of wings (oftentimes the front wing is somewhat hardened).

The most important characteristic is that mouth part.  It’s like they have this big needle that they use to stab into stuff and then suck out fluids to eat.

5 Common True Bugs Of The Rocky Mountains

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This water strider is one of the true bugs of the Rockies.

Common Water Strider

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A water boatman is another true bug that lives in water.

Water Boatmen

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A squash bug. Photo via Flickr.

Squash Bug

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A cicada is real loud.

Cicada

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The box elder bug is another true bug. Photo via Flickr.

Box Elder Bug

The post 5 True Bugs Of The Rocky Mountains – The Real Deal appeared first on Jake’s Nature Blog.

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