Although bugs vary greatly in size, color, and physical appearance, they all have piercing-sucking mouthparts in the form of a jointed beak. Most species suck plant juices (e.g., the squash bug and chinch bug ); however, some suck the blood of other insects and spiders (e.g., the assassin bug and backswimmer ). Others, such as the bedbug , feed on people and other animals. Many of these insects characteristically secrete defensive substances (e.g., the stink bug ). The true bugs are classified in the phylum Arthropoda , class Insecta, order Hemiptera.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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