Bug Vs Insect, Are They Same? Difference Between Facts For Kids!

Aashita Dhingra
Oct 25, 2023 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Nov 16, 2021
Bug vs insect: all the true bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs. Continue reading to learn more!

Bugs are popular creepy crawlies from across the world that belong to the order Hemiptera.

Bugs are not considered a larger group of insects. However, insects and bugs are often grouped under the same label.

During the summer season, you can expect flying critters biting and moving through most of the warm weather. Whether you don't want to see them again or tolerate creepy crawlies or just may be wondering what the differentiation between insects and bugs really is, here lies the answer.

Insects and bugs are not necessarily the same. One could say that these are two words that are used interchangeably, with bugs appearing more randomly and insects appearing mostly in scientific contexts. Still, the differences between both the terms are not just in syntax.

Both bugs and insects are scientifically recognized groups of the animal kingdom. Let us furthermore read about the difference between bug and insect.

If you enjoyed this article, do make sure to also read about English vs western riding: the curious difference revealed and slugs vs snails here on Kidadl.

Are bugs and insects the same?

Bugs and insects aren't the same, and all bugs can come under the category of insects, while all insects do not have to be bugs. A true bug, for example, is a type of insect.

Biologists who often give names to plants and creatures are known as taxonomists; they are, in fact, the people who pay attention to who gets what name.

True bugs are listed in the order Hemiptera. An insect that comes under this order is different from other insect classes such as Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), Diptera (flies and mosquitoes), or Hymenoptera (ants and bees).

Bugs are divided into different groups because they have characteristics that set them apart. True bugs include insects like aphids, cricket, leafhoppers, water bugs, and stink bugs.

They share many parts in common with other insects as they have an exoskeleton, six legs, a segmented body, and have a mouth shaped like a straw. However, they differ from insects in other groups. All bugs go through what is known as imperfect metamorphosis, meaning they hatch from their eggs as nymphs.

Nymphs are miniature versions of grown-up bugs. A few amazing bugs have been discovered in Central America and painted by Edwin Wilson Cambridge.

What is the difference between a bug and an insect?

People are always confused about the differences between an insect and a bug. There is a lot of research related to bug vs insect differences done by biologists worldwide to help people understand the difference.

Stink bugs, aphids, bed bugs, water bugs, and crickets belong to the order Hemiptera and are bugs. On the other hand, bees, butterflies, flies, and beetles are just insects.

There are several creepy crawlies that are neither insects nor bugs. Spiders, centipedes, millipedes, scorpions, and fleas are not insects or bugs at all.

Scorpions, fleas, and spiders are distinguished by eight legs and two body parts and the lack of wings and antennae (cephalothorax and abdomen), making them arachnids. Centipedes are classified as Diplopoda because of their bipedal segment.

Millipedes are considered chilopods because per body part, it has one pair of legs. Regardless of the class, type of insect, or order, dealing with this scary loophole can be nerve-racking and frustrating.

What is technically a bug?

You may not remember everything about high school science lessons but you may remember about kingdom, class, type, and order.

As bugs fall under the order Hemiptera, all bugs are insects, but not all insect species belong to the order Hemiptera. Since everyone, even scientists, consider insects as bugs, bugs found in the order Hemiptera are known as 'true bugs'.

What insects are not bugs?

According to technical definitions, true bugs are not a large group of insects; it is we who generally call them bugs. Beetles, flies, moths, mosquitoes, ants, bees, and cockroaches are not considered true bugs because they do not belong to the order Hemiptera.

Instead, these are found in the order Hymenoptera. Members of this order have characteristics that differ from their actual counterparts with flaws. The main difference is their mouthparts.

Instead of a fixed stylus, the insects in this order have a retractable proboscis. Let us go through the type of insect to know the differentiation between both of them.

Insects are bugs present in all sizes and shapes, and there are several types of insects around the world. Most of them belong to one of seven main groups and examples of insects are dragonflies, flies, fleas, butterflies, moths, crickets, beetles, wasps, etc.

Insects' body consists of three main segments: head that includes eyes, antennae, and mouth; chest which sometimes includes wings and legs; and a stomach consisting of the intestines, reproductive organs, and sometimes the umbilical cord.

Beetles' bodies have hard wing cases and strong shells. Bees, ants, and wasps' body parts have a stringer and are in warming color. Damselflies and dragonflies' body parts are long and have slim bodies, have large eyes, and transparent wings. Grasshoppers, crickets, and locusts have powerful legs.

A true bug has sharp mouthparts, colorful wings, and camouflaged front wings. Flies have bristly bodies and have single pair of wings. In fact, most insects undergo metamorphosis. This is when the larvae-like larvae turn into very different-looking adults.

Did You Know...

Let us read out some of the fun facts about the creatures belonging to the class Insecta:

Most of the true bugs use their mouthpart for drinking food juices or the sap of plants.

Female spiders who belong to class arachnids can lay up to 3,000 eggs at one go.

About 80,000 true bugs are there in the whole world among millions of other creepy creatures.

Black widow spider is the most poisonous creepy creature; its venom is fifteen times more poisonous than that of a rattlesnake.

Groups of insects or the collective nouns for insects are flight, swarm, plague, horde, etc.

Giant weta is the biggest bug on the list of all creepy crawlies.

Fairyflies are one of the world's smallest insects with six legs.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for bug vs insect, are they same? Difference between facts for kids! then why not take a look at moon child meaning: Curious astrology facts for kids, or panda ant facts?

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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

Aashita Dhingra picture

Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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