Endopterygota

Endopterygota

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The Endopterygota, also known as Holometabola, are insect
Insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

s of the subclass Pterygota
Pterygota
Pterygota is a subclass of insects that includes the winged insects. It also includes insect orders that are secondarily wingless ....

 which go through distinctive larva
Larva
A larva is a distinct juvenile form many animals undergo before metamorphosis into adults. Animals with indirect development such as insects, amphibians, or cnidarians typically have a larval phase of their life cycle...

l, pupa
Pupa
A pupa is the life stage of some insects undergoing transformation. The pupal stage is found only in holometabolous insects, those that undergo a complete metamorphosis, going through four life stages; embryo, larva, pupa and imago...

l, 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
Holometabolism
Holometabolism, also called complete metamorphism, is a term applied to insect groups to describe the specific kind of insect development which includes four life stages - as an embryo or egg, a larva, a pupa and an imago or adult. Holometabolism is a monophyletic trait that all insects in the...

, or complete metamorphism.

The Endopterygota are among the most diverse insect superorders, with approximately 850,000 living species divided between eleven orders
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

, containing insects such as butterflies
Butterfly
A butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect of the order Lepidoptera, which includes the butterflies and moths. Like other holometabolous insects, the butterfly's life cycle consists of four parts: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Most species are diurnal. Butterflies have large, often brightly coloured...

, flies
Fly
True flies are insects of the order Diptera . They possess a pair of wings on the mesothorax and a pair of halteres, derived from the hind wings, on the metathorax...

, flea
Flea
Flea is the common name for insects of the order Siphonaptera which are wingless insects with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood...

s, bee
Bee
Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea, presently classified by the unranked taxon name Anthophila...

s, ant
Ant
Ants are social insects of the family Formicidae and, along with the related wasps and bees, belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the mid-Cretaceous period between 110 and 130 million years ago and diversified after the rise of flowering plants. More than...

s and beetle
Beetle
Coleoptera is an order of insects commonly called beetles. The word "coleoptera" is from the Greek , koleos, "sheath"; and , pteron, "wing", thus "sheathed wing". Coleoptera contains more species than any other order, constituting almost 25% of all known life-forms...

s.

They are distinguished from the Exopterygota
Exopterygota
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...

 (or Hemipterodea) by the way in which their wings develop. Endopterygota (meaning literally "internal winged forms") develop wings inside the body and undergo an elaborate metamorphosis involving a pupal stage. Exopterygota ("external winged forms") develop wings on the outside of their bodies and do not go through a pupal stage. The latter trait is plesiomorphic however and not exclusively found in the exopterygotes, but also in groups such as Odonata
Odonata
Odonata is an order of insects, encompassing dragonflies and damselflies . The word dragonfly is also sometimes used to refer to all Odonata, but the back-formation odonate is a more correct English name for the group as a whole...

 (dragonflies and damselflies) which are not Neoptera but more basal among insects.

The earliest endopterygote fossil
Fossil
Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals , plants, and other organisms from the remote past...

s date from the Carboniferous
Carboniferous
The Carboniferous is a geologic period and system that extends from the end of the Devonian Period, about 359.2 ± 2.5 Mya , to the beginning of the Permian Period, about 299.0 ± 0.8 Mya . The name is derived from the Latin word for coal, carbo. Carboniferous means "coal-bearing"...

.

Systematics



ITIS
Integrated Taxonomic Information System
The Integrated Taxonomic Information System is a partnership designed to provide consistent and reliable information on the taxonomy of biological species. ITIS was originally formed in 1996 as an interagency group within the U.S...

 considers any subdivision of the Neoptera beyond the order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

s invalid, but this is almost universally rejected.

The Endopterygota are sometimes divided into three assemblages: Neuropteroida (Neuroptera, Megaloptera, Raphidioptera and Coleoptera), Hymenopteroida (Hymenoptera), and Panorpoida (Siphonaptera, Diptera, Trichoptera, Lepidoptera, Strepsiptera and Mecoptera). It was long believed that the hymenoptera
Hymenoptera
Hymenoptera is one of the largest orders of insects, comprising the sawflies, wasps, bees and ants. There are over 130,000 recognized species, with many more remaining to be described. The name refers to the heavy wings of the insects, and is derived from the Ancient Greek ὑμήν : membrane and...

ns, with their highly-developed social systems, constituted the most advanced insects, despite their rather "primitive" anatomy
Anatomy
Anatomy is a branch of biology and medicine that is the consideration of the structure of living things. It is a general term that includes human anatomy, animal anatomy , and plant anatomy...

 compared to flies
Fließ
Fließ is a municipality in the Landeck district and is located5 km south of Landeck on the upper course of the Inn River. It has 9 hamlets and was already populated at the roman age; the village itself was founded around the 6th century. After a conflagration in 1933 Fließ was restored more...

 and beetle
Beetle
Coleoptera is an order of insects commonly called beetles. The word "coleoptera" is from the Greek , koleos, "sheath"; and , pteron, "wing", thus "sheathed wing". Coleoptera contains more species than any other order, constituting almost 25% of all known life-forms...

s for example.

More recently, this has increasingly been rejected and DNA sequence
DNA sequence
The sequence or primary structure of a nucleic acid is the composition of atoms that make up the nucleic acid and the chemical bonds that bond those atoms. Because nucleic acids, such as DNA and RNA, are unbranched polymers, this specification is equivalent to specifying the sequence of...

 data seems to verify that the hymenopterans are indeed among the most basal endopterygotes, whereas flies and flea
Flea
Flea is the common name for insects of the order Siphonaptera which are wingless insects with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood...

s are often considered the most radically advanced insects. This calls the previous subdivision into question, and consequently several new taxa have been proposed, splitting up the Endopterygota. While some groups (such as the "sucking-stinging" fly-flea assemblage or the caddisfly-butterfly group) seem indeed to be good clade
Clade
A clade is a group consisting of a species and all its descendants. In the terms of biological systematics, a clade is a single "branch" on the "tree of life". The idea that such a "natural group" of organisms should be grouped together and given a taxonomic name is central to biological...

s, it is not likely that the relationships of the endopterygotes, or the neopteran insects in general, will be resolved in detail soon.

Superorder Endopterygota sensu stricto
  • Hymenoptera
    Hymenoptera
    Hymenoptera is one of the largest orders of insects, comprising the sawflies, wasps, bees and ants. There are over 130,000 recognized species, with many more remaining to be described. The name refers to the heavy wings of the insects, and is derived from the Ancient Greek ὑμήν : membrane and...

     (ant
    Ant
    Ants are social insects of the family Formicidae and, along with the related wasps and bees, belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the mid-Cretaceous period between 110 and 130 million years ago and diversified after the rise of flowering plants. More than...

    s, bee
    Bee
    Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea, presently classified by the unranked taxon name Anthophila...

    s, etc.)

Proposed superorder Coleopterida
  • Coleoptera
    Beetle
    Coleoptera is an order of insects commonly called beetles. The word "coleoptera" is from the Greek , koleos, "sheath"; and , pteron, "wing", thus "sheathed wing". Coleoptera contains more species than any other order, constituting almost 25% of all known life-forms...

     (beetles)
  • Strepsiptera
    Strepsiptera
    The Strepsiptera are an order of insects with ten families making up about 600 species...

     (twisted-winged parasites)

Proposed superorder Neuropterida
Neuropterida
The Neuropterida are a clade of holometabolous insects. Well-known members are the lacewings, antlions and dobsonflies.Historically, they were known as Neuroptera, but this name nowadays refers to lacewings and their relatives only, which formerly were known as Planipennia...

/Neuropteroidea
  • Raphidioptera
    Snakefly
    Snakeflies are a group of insects in the order Raphidioptera, consisting of about 210 extant species. Together with the Megaloptera they were formerly placed within the Neuroptera, but now these two are generally regarded as separate orders....

     (snakeflies)
  • Megaloptera
    Megaloptera
    Megaloptera is an order of insects. It contains the alderflies, dobsonflies and fishflies, and there are about 300 known species.The Megaloptera were formerly considered part of a group then called Neuroptera, together with lacewings and snakeflies, but these are now generally considered to be...

     (alderflies, etc.)
  • Neuroptera
    Neuroptera
    The insect order Neuroptera, or net-winged insects, includes the lacewings, mantidflies, antlions, and their relatives. The order contains some 6,010 species...

     (net-veined insects)

Proposed superorder Mecopteroidea/Antliophora
  • Mecoptera
    Mecoptera
    Mecoptera are an order of insects with about 550 species in nine families worldwide. Mecoptera are sometimes called scorpionflies after their largest family, Panorpidae, in which the males have enlarged genitals that look similar to the stinger of a scorpion...

     (scorpionflies, etc.)
  • Siphonaptera
    Flea
    Flea is the common name for insects of the order Siphonaptera which are wingless insects with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood...

     (fleas)
  • Diptera
    Diptera
    Diptera , or true flies, is the order of insects possessing only a single pair of wings on the mesothorax; the metathorax bears a pair of drumstick like structures called the halteres, the remnants of the hind wings. It is a large order, containing an estimated 240,000 species, although under half...

     (true flies
    Fly
    True flies are insects of the order Diptera . They possess a pair of wings on the mesothorax and a pair of halteres, derived from the hind wings, on the metathorax...

    )
  • Protodiptera
    Protodiptera
    Protodiptera is an extinct order of insects containing the two genera Permotipula and Permila....

     (fossil)

Proposed superorder Amphiesmenoptera
Amphiesmenoptera
Amphiesmenoptera is an insect superorder, established by Willi Hennig in his revision of insect taxonomy for two sister orders: Lepidoptera and Trichoptera ....

  • Trichoptera (caddisflies)
  • Lepidoptera
    Lepidoptera
    Lepidoptera is a large order of insects that includes moths and butterflies . It is one of the most widespread and widely recognizable insect orders in the world, encompassing moths and the three superfamilies of butterflies, skipper butterflies, and moth-butterflies...

     (butterflies
    Butterfly
    A butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect of the order Lepidoptera, which includes the butterflies and moths. Like other holometabolous insects, the butterfly's life cycle consists of four parts: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Most species are diurnal. Butterflies have large, often brightly coloured...

    , moth
    Moth
    A moth is an insect closely related to the butterfly, both being of the order Lepidoptera. Moths form the majority of this order; there are thought to be 150,000 to 250,000 different species of moth , with thousands of species yet to be described...

    s)

Incertae sedis
Incertae sedis
, is a term used to define a taxonomic group where its broader relationships are unknown or undefined. Uncertainty at specific taxonomic levels is attributed by , , and similar terms.-Examples:*The fossil plant Paradinandra suecica could not be assigned to any...

  • Glosselytrodea
    Glosselytrodea
    Glosselytrodea is an extinct order of insects....

     (fossil)
  • Miomoptera
    Miomoptera
    Miomoptera is an extinct order of insects. Although it is thought to be a common ancestor of all holometabolous insects, because no smooth transition between Miomoptera and other holometabolous insect orders is known it is considered to be in a separate order unto itself.The Miomopterans were small...

    (fossil)