Malaysian Bugs and Hoppers

photo of a malaysian seed bugphoto of a malaysian plant hopperpicture of a brown-colored malaysian squash bug

True Malaysian Bugs

Malaysian bugs and hoppers belong to the Hemiptera Order of Insects.

The Hemiptera insects among others, include the water scorpions, water boatman, backswimmers, water striders, plant bugs, bed bugs, assassin bugs, shield bugs, squash bugs, seed bugs, lantern bugs, bed bugs, red bugs and stink bugs.

Although the term "bugs" is used as slang to commonly describe all insects, members of the order Hemiptera are the only insects that entomologists correctly identified as "true bugs".

As a characteristic, the immature stages of the Hemiptera insects resemble the adults in their appearance, and, unlike the Lepidoptera order, there is no pupal stage before they turn to adulthood.

The hoppers (Homoptera) usually have their entire forewing homogeneously membranous. The forewings are uniformly thickened with a slight overlap at the tips.

Homoptera groups include cicadas, leaf hoppers, whiteflies, aphids and scale insects.

They mostly feed on plant sap and live on plants.

picture of yellow shieldbug in Malaysia
Members of these bugs and hoppers have sucking mouthparts used for drinking sap from plants, although the mouthparts are not as long as those of the butterflies and moths.

As the sugar level in plants is relatively low, these insects have to take in a lot of sap to meet their daily needs, and so they go from plant to plant to feed.

However not all bugs drink plant juice.

For instance, assassin bugs catch other smaller insects and use their sharp and flexible rostrum to suck the lives out of their prey.

And of course we know what bed bugs do, right? They suck our blood.

photo of a malaysian bugphoto of a malaysian pond skaterpicture of a broad-headed bug in Malaysian

Can You Easily Find Malaysian Bugs and Hoppers ?

Being small, these Malaysian bugs and hoppers can sometimes be difficult to see as they blend well with their environment. It is actually a great form of camouflaging to hide from their predators.

picture of leafhoppers on a leaf in Malaysia
Some bugs give off an unpleasant smell when threatened. This form of chemical self-defense is used by stinkbugs to scare predators away. When in danger or disturbed, a stink bug will release a stinky odor from glands through a pore on each side of its thorax.

The young of some hoppers protect themselves by hiding in a foamy nest secreted from their abdomen that resembles saliva and are hence known as spittlebugs.

And of course when they sense danger, hoppers simply jump (and hop) or fly away at the slightest threat, to escape from predators.

Sometimes it's just to hide opposite the twigs or behind the stems of the plants or leaves. You can sometimes see only their head, with their body hidden behind the plant stems or leaves, as they watch our every move!

photo of a green malaysian stink bugphoto of newly hatched nymphs of bugs in Malaysiapicture of a plant-hopper in Malaysia

Varieties in the Tropical Forests of Malaysia

In the forest of Malaysia, the most vocal hoppers are cicadas, which use special sets of muscle in their thorax to produce a very high pitched sound.

picture of a malaysian cicada

They are maybe the loudest animal in the world comparative to their size.

And although the sound, or rather, music, they make is loud, it is difficult to locate exactly where they come from! That is why they are also sometimes known as the ventriloquists of the insect world.

Another interesting Hemiptera insect that can be found in the forests of both Peninsular and East Malaysia is the lanternbug (Fulgoridae).

There are many different species to be found, with strikingly beautiful God-created design and variety of colors.

picture of a red-nosed malaysian lantern-bug
Their unique characteristic is the elongated forehead or nose with colorful tips. But they are not lanterns and they don't produce lights as their common name suggests, unlike the fireflies.

They are avid plant juice suckers, and are actually very peaceful species of plant-hoppers you can find on the tree trunks.

Besides these insects, you can also find other interesting Hemiptera and Homoptera insects in the country.

So when you visit the gardens or the national parks in Malaysia, don't forget to look out for these beautiful Malaysian bugs and hoppers.


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