Bug or beetle?

A bug by any other name

A bug by any other name

This is called a fire bug (or firebug). It’s also called a fire beetle.

So what’s the difference and which is it?

The beetle and the true bug (as opposed to ‘bug’ which is a sloppy name for anything small with a lot of legs) are both types of insect.

They can be distinguished by their mouthparts and their wing cases.

The creature in the photo is actually a true bug and not a beetle at all.

But given the number of wildly unrelated meanings for ‘bug’, I’m happier calling it a beetle.

 

Electric blue

Black and blue

Black and blue

This could be a designer sleep mask, or part of a very strange electric kettle.

The piece of wing is a giveaway.

It’s actually the underside of a beetle.

It’s taken a lot of technology for us to match that colour.