True Bugs

Hemipteran bugs can be split into two main groups based on their wing structure and the position of the rostrum:

Heteropteran Bugs
Suborder: Heteroptera

Homopteran Bugs
Suborders: Auchenorrhyncha & Sternorrhyncha

There are over 80000 species of hemipterans currently known to science, of which about 1700 species occur in the British Isles. Most species feed on plants, with some being quite serious agricultural pests (such as the aphids), but there are also a few carnivorous groups, including a few species of blood-sucking Reduvid bugs in South America that are responsible for the transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi to humans. T. cruzi is the protozoan parasite that causes Chagas Disease, an often fatal condition unless treated in its early stages. Current estimates suggest that 8-11 million people are infected with the disease in the tropical Americas.