8 Difference between Bug and Beetle (With Table)

There are thousands of insect species in the world. Bugs and beetles are among these species though they belong to a different order.

The main difference between bugs and beetles is that bugs belong to the order Hemiptera while beetles belong to the order Coleoptera.

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Comparison Table (Bug vs Beetle)

Basic Terms Bugs Beetles
Order Hemiptera Coleoptera
Number of Species About 75000 species About 400000 species
Diet Feed on plants Feed on both plants and animals
Mouthparts Have needle-like and piercing mouthparts Have chewing mouthparts
Antennas Comprise of 4-5 segments Consists of 11 segments
Wings Have membranous wings and forewings thickened at the base Forewings are modified into elytra which is hard and leathery. Hind wings are membranous
Lifecycle Incomplete metamorphosis Complete metamorphosis
Examples Cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, leafhoppers, and shield bugs a ladybird beetle, leaf beetle, ground beetle, scarabs, longhorn beetle, weevil, stag beetle, and Firefly

What Is a Bug?

It is a group of insects that belongs to the order Hemiptera. The presence of sucking mouthparts is the distinctive feature of the insect among others.

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The sucking and piercing mouthpart allow the bug to feed on plant saps and nectar. It is the reason behind termed as the plant feeder.

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However, there are some species of bugs that are parasitic. These bugs feed on other small insects and invertebrates. The size of a bug is variable and it ranges from 1mm to 15 cm.

The most exciting thing is that the wings of the bugs are membranous. But the forewings have thick bases. Another important feature is the incomplete metamorphosis.

difference between bug and beetle

What Is a Beetle?

A beetle is yet another group of insects that belongs to the order Coleoptera. It is among the largest group of insects where 40% represent insects and 25% all forms of animals.

The chewing mouthparts are one of the features that tend to make the creatures stand out from others. It is ideal for feeding on plants and some small animals like aphids.

One of the most important features to note is the modified wings into elytra. The wings have hard leathery structures that cover the rest of the hind wing while at rest.

You should note that beetles tend to undergo complete metamorphosis and the larval stage tend to be quite destructive.

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Beetle difference between bug and beetle

Main Difference between a Bug and a Beetle

  1. A beetle belongs to the order Coleoptera while a bug belongs to the order Hemiptera.
  2. A bug is a plant feeder while a beetle feed on both plants and animals
  3. Bugs have around 75000 species whereas beetles have around 400000 species
  4. Beetles have chewing mouthparts while bugs have sucking and piercing mouthparts
  5. Beetles undergo complete metamorphosis whereas bugs undergo incomplete metamorphosis
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Similarities between a Bug and a Beetle

  1. Both are types of insects
  2. Both are types of arthropods
  3. Both have a body divided into three parts eg head, thorax abdomen
  4. Both are present around the world
  5. Both have aquatic and terrestrial habitats
  6. Both species have wings to fly
  7. Both are common agricultural pests

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FAQs about Bugs and Beetles

How Is a Bug Different from a Beetle?

A bug undergoes incomplete metamorphosis whereas a beetle is under complete metamorphosis. The life cycle is what makes these creatures different.

How Do I Identify A Beetle?

Beetles have sharp chewing mouthparts for feeding on plant matter, decaying matter of animals, and fungus. The long and straw-like protrusion is what makes the beetle stand out from other insects.

What Attracts Beetles In Your House?

Beetles usually migrate into the house in search of water sources. The condition is quite common during the drought period. So, if you have a leaking roof and water pipes then expect beetles to infest the area.

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Are Beetles Harmful?

Beetles are not harmful to human beings. They do not carry or spread diseases. However, they can become a concern to a homeowner in case of large accumulation.

Do Bugs Fart?

Not really. But insects produce gases that might stink. The most common gases produced by bugs are hydrogen and methane. The smell of these gases is much tiny.

Do Bugs Cry?

Not at all. Bugs do not have lacrimal glands that produce tears. These insects have either simple or compound eyes.

Do Bugs Feel Love?

Nope. But they do express anger, terror, jealousy, and love. The emotions are the reason behind the bites.

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Summary

Both bugs and beetles are groups of insects. The only thing that makes them stand apart is the order. For instance, bugs belong to the order Hemiptera and beetle belongs to order Coleoptera.

It is also good to note that bugs do feed on plants and beetles on both plants and animal matters. The anatomical structures and feeding behavior is a key area to consider when studying bugs and beetles.

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