Insect logo

HomeWho We Are List of Orders References Contact Us

Insect Identification Key

A bedbug
Bedbugs have a wide abdomen and overall oval body shape, along with a long, blade-like beak (pictured below in extreme close-up and enhanced purple coloration) that is able to pierce the skin. This particular insect is the common bedbug (Cimex lectularius). Top photo credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Piotr Naskrecki. Bottom photo credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Janice Harney Carr.
Bedbugs of the Suborder Heteroptera and Order Hemiptera

Based on your answers to the questions, you have identified your insect as being a bedbug, which is in the suborder Heteroptera of the order Hemiptera!

General characteristics:

Bedbugs are small, 4-5 mm insects that feed on human blood. Bites from bedbugs — so called because they frequently inhabit beds — cause bumps that may become itchy, red welts. Symptoms usually don’t arise until several days after the initial bite.

Bedbugs are in the suborder Heteroptera, which is part of the order Hemiptera (the true bugs). To learn about other characteristics of the suborder Heteroptera, click here.


A bedbug's beak

Kingdom Animalia
   Phylum Arthropoda
      Subphylum Hexapoda
         Class Insecta
            Order Hemiptera
               Suborder Heteroptera

For a list of all of the orders in this key, click here: List of Orders.

Oops! If this doesn't appear to be the correct identification of your insect, go back through the key and look more carefully at your insect while answering the questions again. Your perseverance will reward you!

I would like to return to the start of this key.

HomeWho We Are List of Orders References Contact Us

Unless noted otherwise, photographs on this website are the property of the photographers and may not be reused without written permission from the photographers. To obtain permission, request it here.

Photos at the top of this website are (from left to right): potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) — photo credit: Scott Bauer, U.S. Department of Agriculture; ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)— photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; sweat bee (Agapostemon splendens) — photo credit: Natalie Allen and Stephanie Kolski, U.S. Geological Survey; preying mantis, monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), hellgrammite (aka toe biter) larva and eyed click beetle (Alaus oculatus) — photo credit: Leslie Mertz; Halloween pennant (Celithemis eponina) — photo credit: Kay Meng, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Reproduction of material from any webpages without written permission is strictly prohibited.