Temporal range: Late Carboniferous–Present
|Honeybee (order Hymenoptera)|
Neoptera is a classification group that includes most orders of 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 "Palaeoptera" assemblage), which are unable to flex their wings in this way.
The taxon Neoptera was proposed by А.М. Martynov in 1923 and 1924, in the following classification:
The order Thysanoptera originally had uncertain systematic position, and later was attributed to Paraneoptera.
Later, a number of other classifications had been proposed. According to various points of view, Neoptera is subordinated either directly to Pterygota (as in the Martynov's classification), or to Metapterygota:
1. Pterygota Gegenbaur 1878
1.1. Ephemeroptera Hyatt & Arms 1890
1.2. Metapterygota Börner 1909
1.2.1. Odonata Fabricius 1793
1.2.2. Neoptera Martynov 1923
The phylogeny of Neoptera is shown, not yet fully resolved, in the cladogram:
The Odonata are an order of flying insects, the dragonflies and damselflies.
Orthoptera is an order of insects that comprises the grasshoppers, locusts and crickets, including closely related insects such as the katydids and wetas. The order is subdivided into two suborders: Caelifera – grasshoppers, locusts and close relatives; and Ensifera – crickets and close relatives.
The Heteroptera are a group of about 40,000 species of insects in the order Hemiptera. They are sometimes called "true bugs", though that name more commonly refers to the Hemiptera as a whole. "Typical bugs" might be used as a more unequivocal alternative, since the heteropterans are most consistently and universally termed "bugs" among the Hemiptera. "Heteroptera" is Greek for "different wings": most species have forewings with both membranous and hardened portions ; members of the primitive sub-group Enicocephalomorpha have completely membranous wings.
Mayflies are aquatic insects belonging to the order Ephemeroptera. This order is part of an ancient group of insects termed the Palaeoptera, which also contains dragonflies and damselflies. Over 3,000 species of mayfly are known worldwide, grouped into over 400 genera in 42 families.
The Pterygota are a subclass of insects that includes the winged insects. It also includes insect orders that are secondarily wingless.
Endopterygota, also known as Holometabola, is a superorder of insects within the infraclass Neoptera that go through distinctive larval, pupal, and adult stages. They undergo a radical metamorphosis, with the larval and adult stages differing considerably in their structure and behaviour. This is called holometabolism, or complete metamorphism.
Hemimetabolism or hemimetaboly, also called incomplete metamorphosis and paurometabolism, is the mode of development of certain insects that includes three distinct stages: the egg, nymph, and the adult stage, or imago. These groups go through gradual changes; there is no pupal stage. The nymph often has a thin exoskeleton and resembles the adult stage but lacks wings and functional reproductive organs. The hemimetabolous insects differ from ametabolous taxa in that the one and only adult instar undergoes no further moulting.
The Exopterygota, also known as Hemipterodea, are a superorder of insects of the subclass Pterygota in the infraclass Neoptera, in which the young resemble adults but have externally developing wings. They undergo a modest change between immature and adult, without going through a pupal stage. The nymphs develop gradually into adults through a process of moulting.
The name Apterygota is sometimes applied to a subclass of small, agile insects, distinguished from other insects by their lack of wings in the present and in their evolutionary history; notable examples are the silverfish, the firebrat, and the jumping bristletails. Their first known occurrence in the fossil record is during the Devonian period, 417–354 million years ago.
The most recent understanding of the evolution of insects is based on studies of the following branches of science: molecular biology, insect morphology, paleontology, insect taxonomy, evolution, embryology, bioinformatics and scientific computing. It is estimated that the class of insects originated on Earth about 480 million years ago, in the Ordovician, at about the same time terrestrial plants appeared. Insects evolved from a group of crustaceans. The first insects were land bound, but about 400 million years ago in the Devonian period one lineage of insects evolved flight, the first animals to do so. The oldest insect fossil has been proposed to be Rhyniognatha hirsti, estimated to be 400 million years old, but the insect identity of the fossil has been contested. Global climate conditions changed several times during the history of Earth, and along with it the diversity of insects. The Pterygotes underwent a major radiation in the Carboniferous while the Endopterygota underwent another major radiation in the Permian.
Insect wings are adult outgrowths of the insect exoskeleton that enable insects to fly. They are found on the second and third thoracic segments, and the two pairs are often referred to as the forewings and hindwings, respectively, though a few insects lack hindwings, even rudiments. The wings are strengthened by a number of longitudinal veins, which often have cross-connections that form closed "cells" in the membrane. The patterns resulting from the fusion and cross-connection of the wing veins are often diagnostic for different evolutionary lineages and can be used for identification to the family or even genus level in many orders of insects.
The name Palaeoptera has been traditionally applied to those ancestral groups of winged insects that lacked the ability to fold the wings back over the abdomen as characterizes the Neoptera. The Diaphanopterodea, which are palaeopteran insects, had independently and uniquely evolved a different wing-folding mechanism. Both mayflies and dragonflies lack any of the smell centers in their brain found in Neoptera.
Amphiesmenoptera is an insect superorder, established by S. G. Kiriakoff, but often credited to Willi Hennig in his revision of insect taxonomy for two sister orders: Lepidoptera and Trichoptera (caddisflies). In 2017, a third fossil order was added to the group, the Tarachoptera.
In biological classification, taxonomic rank is the relative level of a group of organisms in a taxonomic hierarchy. Examples of taxonomic ranks are species, genus, family, order, class, phylum, kingdom, domain, etc.
The Odonatoptera are a superorder of ancient winged insects, placed in the Palaeoptera which probably form a paraphyletic group however. The dragonflies and damselflies are the only living members of this group, which was far more diverse in the late Paleozoic and contained gigantic species, including the griffinflies of the order Protodonata. This lineage dates back at least to the Bashkirian, not quite 320 million years ago.
Paraneoptera is a monophyletic superorder of insects which includes four orders, the bark lice, true lice, thrips, and hemipterans, the true bugs. The mouthparts of the Paraneoptera reflect diverse feeding habits. Basal groups are microbial surface feeders, whereas more advanced groups feed on plant or animal fluids.
The Dicondylia are a taxonomic group (taxon) that includes all insects except the jumping bristletails (Archaeognatha). Dicondylia have a mandible attached with two hinges to the head capsule (dicondyl), in contrast to the original mandible with a single ball joint (monocondyl).
Coxoplectoptera or "chimera wings" is a primitive, extinct order of winged insects containing one family, Mickoleitiidae, discovered in 2007.
The taxonomy of invertebrates as proposed by Richard C. Brusca and Gary J. Brusca in 2003 is a system of classification with emphasis on the invertebrates, in other words, a way to classify animals, primarily those which have no backbone.
Apterobiroina is a genus of flies belonging to the family Lesser Dung flies.