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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fossil range: Late Carboniferous–Recent
Honeybee (order Hymenoptera)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Insecta
Subclass: Pterygota
Infraclass: Neoptera
Martynov, 1923
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

Proposed superorder Dictyoptera

Proposed superorder Paraneoptera

Superorder Endopterygota sensu stricto

Proposed superorder Neuropterida/Neuropteroidea

Proposed superorder Mecopteroidea/Antliophora

Proposed superorder Amphiesmenoptera

Incertae sedis



Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:



  1. a taxonomic infraclass, within subclass Pterygota - various winged insects

See also

Wikispecies has information on:



Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Nemobius sylvestris.


Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Cladus: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Cladus: Neoptera
Cladi: "basal Neoptera" - Eumetabola - Polyneoptera
[list of cladi adapted from Grimaldi & Engel (2005: 147, table 4.1)]

Overview of extant ordines

Blattodea - Coleoptera - Dermaptera - Diptera - Embiidina - Hemiptera - Hymenoptera - Isoptera - Lepidoptera - Mantodea - Mecoptera - Megaloptera - Neuroptera - Notoptera - Orthoptera - Phasmatodea - Phthiraptera - Plecoptera - Psocoptera - Raphidioptera - Siphonaptera - Strepsiptera - Thysanoptera - Trichoptera - Zoraptera




  • Ali, D.W. and D.C. Darling. 1998: Neuroanatomy and neurochemistry: implications for the phylogeny of the lower Neoptera. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 76(9): 1628-1633.
  • Grimaldi, D.; Engel, M.S. 2005: Evolution of the insects. Cambridge University Press, New York, USA. limited preview on Google books
  • Terry, M.D. and M.F. Whiting. 2005: Mantophasmatodea and phylogeny of the lower neopterous insects. Cladistics, 21(3): 240-257.
  • Wheeler, W.C., M. Whiting, Q.D. Wheeler, and J.M. Carpenter. 2001: The phylogeny of the extant hexapod orders. Cladistics, 17: 113-169.

Vernacular names

Български: Новокрили
Deutsch: Neuflügler
Français: Néoptère
한국어: 신시하강
日本語: 新翅節 (しんしせつ)
Português: Neópteros
Русский: Новокрылые насекомые
Türkçe: Gelişmiş böcekler
中文: 新翅下綱
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Neoptera on Wikimedia Commons.

Simple English

Neoptera is a classification group that has almost all the winged insects, mostly those that can flex their wings over their abdomens. This is in contrast with the more basal orders of winged insects, which are not able to flex their wings in this way.


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