Neoptera

Neopterans
Temporal range: Late Carboniferous–Recent
Honeybee (order Hymenoptera)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
(unranked): Dicondylia
Subclass: Pterygota
(unranked): Metapterygota
Infraclass: Neoptera
Wulp, 1890
Superorders and orders

Superorder Exopterygota

Superorder Endopterygota

For fossil groups and possible future splits, see text.

Neoptera is a classification group that includes almost all the winged insects, specifically those that can flex their wings over their abdomens. This is in contrast with the more basal orders of winged insects (the "Paleoptera" assemblage), which are unable to flex their wings in this way.

ITIS lumps all neopteran orders together in this infraclass without subdivision; other authorities recognise several superorders within it. Almost universally accepted are the Exopterygota - hemimetabolous neopterans, in which the wings are already visible before the adult stage and no pupa or chrysalis stage occurs -, and the Endopterygota, the holometabolous insects in which the wings develop inside the body during the larval stage and only become external appendages during the pupa or chrysalis stage.

As of recently, there are several attempts to resolve the neopteran diversity further. While this appears to be less controversial than in the (apparently paraphyletic) "Palaeoptera", there are nonetheless lots of unresolved questions. For example, the hymenopterans, traditionally considered highly advanced due to their intricate social systems, seem to be far more basal among the Endopterygota, as suggested by their relatively plesiomorphic anatomy and molecular data. The exact position of the proposed Dictyoptera is also uncertain, namely whether they are better considered Exopterygota or basal neopterans.

Detailed classification

Here is a list of living and fossil neopteran orders. Supraordinal taxonomy is currently in a state of constant flux (and likely will be for some time to come).

Superorder Exopterygota[verification needed]

Proposed superorder Dictyoptera

  • Phasmatodea (stick insects - tentatively placed here)
  • Notoptera (ice-crawlers & gladiators - tentatively placed here)
  • Blattaria (cockroaches)
  • Isoptera (termites)
  • Mantodea (mantids)

Proposed superorder Paraneoptera

Superorder Endopterygota sensu stricto

Proposed superorder Neuropterida/Neuropteroidea

Proposed superorder Mecopteroidea/Antliophora

Proposed superorder Amphiesmenoptera

Incertae sedis

External links

Media related to Neoptera at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Neoptera at Wikispecies


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Look at other dictionaries:

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