With more than 40,000 described species in 86 families, Heteroptera or True Bugs are one of the truly megadiverse phylogenetic lineages. Together with the remaining Hemiptera, they belong in the ‘Big 5’ of insect orders in terms of species richness. Their morphological and ecological diversity is reflected in their successful occupation of virtually every major ecosystem on earth, where they skim the surface of the oceans, live as permanent ectoparasites in the fur of bats, or engage in kleptoparasitism in spider webs. Heteroptera also comprise medically and economically important organisms such as kissing bugs, the vectors of Chagas Disease, and chinch bugs, which are among the most important pests of economically grown grasses.

The Heteroptera of the World LifeDesk aims on disseminating information on true bugs to a broad audience by integrating habitus images, introductions, and diagnoses for family-level taxa. The family level diagnoses and introductions are tailored after Schuh and Slater (1995) - True Bugs of the World.

This LifeDesk is a collaborative effort of Christiane Weirauch (UC Riverside) and Randall T. Schuh (American Museum of Natural History) and their labs.

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    Canopus impressus	Fabricius
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