This Monday Tuesday, we will belatedly discuss the following word:
This word, tóngchì mù, is the Mandarin for Homoptera, a suborder in the order Hemiptera, the “true bugs”. Readers with a good memory or with an impressive knowledge of Chinese will note that tóngchì mù is similar to bànchì mù (Heteroptera, also in the order Hemiptera), the word discussed several months ago. As mentioned then, mù is merely the word which denotes taxonomic order. But whereas bànchì meant “half wing”, tóngchì means “same wing”. This is because Homopterans lack the hemelytra present in Heteropterans, meaning they don’t have part of their wings hardened. Instead, the wings have generally the same texture throughout – thus, “same wing”!
Final note: Apparently, this suborder has been “deprecated“, meaning in this case that Homoptera is no longer considered a true suborder. This group is now believed to be paraphyletic, which of course is something taxonomists must avoid at all costs! But here is a cicada, a group which falls under this now deprecated suborder: