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Bugs and beetles may look similar at first glance, but they belong to two quite different insect groups.
Here are some features that can help distinguish between them:
- Bugs: mouthparts modified into piercing stylet (i.e. needle-like).
- Beetles: chewing mouthparts.
- Bugs: wings (if present) are membranous or partially thickened.
- Beetles: forewings modified to form hard, leathery coverings called elytra, hindwings membranous and fold under elytra when not flying.
- Bugs: liquid diet: mostly plant-feeders (nectar/sap), some feeders on animal fluids.
- Beetles: wide range of plant and animal materials eaten.
- Bugs: incomplete metamorphosis - juveniles resemble adults except smaller and lack wings.
- Beetles: complete metamorphosis - larvae with hardened head, chewing mouthparts and usually have legs.
- Bugs: Order Hemiptera
- Beetles: Order Coleoptera