Paraneoptera is a monophyletic superorder of insects which includes four orders, the bark lice, true lice, thrips, and hemipterans, the true bugs.[1] 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.[1]

Magicicada septendecim
Magicicada septendecim, a cicada (Hemiptera)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
(unranked): Eumetabola
(unranked): Paraneoptera


Hemiptera /hɛˈmɪptərə/ is an order of insects most often known as the true bugs (cf. bug), comprising around 50,000–80,000 species of cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, leafhoppers, shield bugs, and others. They range in size from 1 millimetre (0.039 in) to around 15 centimetres (5.9 in), and share a common arrangement of sucking mouthparts.


Psocoptera, the bark lice, include 4,400 described species arranged in 3 suborders, Trogiomorpha, Troctomorpha, and Psocomorpha. There are 50 families of bark lice with over 200 genera. This is the first insect order to show the beginnings of a transition to sucking mouthparts. It is sister group to the Phthiraptera.

Bark lice are found on foliage, under bark, or in leaf litter. Most species are microbial surface feeders, some species feed on dead insects and a few species, known as book lice, eat paper products. Many species live gregariously. Mating behavior can be elaborate.


Phthiraptera, the lice, includes 5,000 described species divided into 4 suborders. The Amblycera is the most basal group and parasitize birds and mammals. The Ischnocera is the largest suborder and parasitize mostly birds and some groups of mammals. The Rhynchophthirina, the elephant lice, consists of only 3 species that parasitize elephants and wild pigs in Africa. The Anoplura (sucking lice) parasitize only mammals.

The body of a louse is dorsoventrally flattened and the eyes are absent or nearly so. The legs are strong for holding onto fur or feathers of the host. Amblycera have chewing mouthparts, and Anoplura have true sucking mouthparts with stylets. Chewing lice feed on feathers, hair and skin surface detritus, whereas sucking lice feed exclusively on blood. Most species of lice are host specific, with the sucking lice being more host specific than chewing lice. There is strong evidence for host-parasite coevolution in some groups. Because lice are wingless, transfer between hosts usually involves direct contact during mating, brooding and nursing of young, sharing of communal nest sites or even during predator-prey interactions. Lice have the fewest life stages of any insect (egg, 3 larval instars, and adult).


Ponticulothrips diospyrosi
Ponticulothrips diospyrosi on finger for scale

Order Thysanoptera includes 5,500 species classified into two suborders distinguished by the ovipositor. Terebrantia have a well-developed conical ovipositor, while the Tubulifera do not. Instead the abdomen is drawn out in the shape of a tube. These insects are called thrips.

The mouth is in the form of an asymmetrical mouth cone, consisting of piercing stylets. Thrips have unique eversible bladders on their tarsi that provide adhesion to the substrate. Thrips are commonly found on and in flowers. Most species are phytophagous, feeding on flowers. Some species feed on fungi and a few species are predaceous. Development in thrips is unique. In the Terebrantia the egg stage is followed by 2 larval instars, 1 “prepupal” instar, a “pupal” instar and the adult stage. The prepupal and pupal stages are quiescent and have rudimentary wings. In the Tubulifera there are two “prepupal” instars and one “pupal” instar. Wing rudiments are not present in the first “prepupal” stage. Social behavior ranges from solitary to eusocial with reproductive division of labor.


  1. ^ a b David A. Grimaldi & Michael S. Engel (2005). "The Paraneopteran Orders". Evolution of the Insects. Volume 1 of Cambridge Evolution Series. Cambridge University Press. pp. 261–330. ISBN 978-0-521-82149-0.

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 (butterflies and moths) and Trichoptera (caddisflies). In 2017, a third fossil order was added to the group, the Tarachoptera.Trichoptera and Lepidoptera share a number of derived characters (synapomorphies) which demonstrate their common descent:

Females, rather than males, are heterogametic (i.e. their sex chromosomes differ).

Dense setae are present in the wings (modified into scales in Lepidoptera).

There is a particular venation pattern on the forewings (the double-looped anal veins).

Larvae have mouth structures and glands to make and manipulate silk.Thus these two extant orders are sisters, with Tarachoptera basal to both groups. Amphiesmenoptera probably evolved in the Jurassic. Lepidoptera differ from the Trichoptera in several features, including wing venation, form of the scales on the wings, loss of the cerci, loss of an ocellus, and changes to the legs.Amphiesmenoptera are thought to be the sister group of Antliophora, a proposed superorder comprising Diptera (flies), Siphonaptera (fleas) and Mecoptera (scorpionflies). Together, Amphiesmenoptera and Antliophora compose the group Mecopterida.


Archodonata is an extinct order of palaeozoic paleopterous insects, sometimes included in Odonata.


Bryopsocidae is a family of Psocoptera belonging to the suborder Psocomorpha. The family includes 2 species from New Zealand.


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).


Eumetabola is an unranked category of Neoptera. Two large unities known as the Paurometabola and Eumetabola are probably from the adelphotaxa of the Neoptera after exclusion of the Plecoptera. The monophyly of these unities appears to be weakly justified.


The Hemiptera or true bugs are an order of insects comprising some 50,000 to 80,000 species of groups such as the cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, leafhoppers, and shield bugs. They range in size from 1 mm (0.04 in) to around 15 cm (6 in), and share a common arrangement of sucking mouthparts. The name "true bugs" is sometimes limited to the suborder Heteroptera. Many insects commonly known as "bugs" belong to other orders; for example, the lovebug is a fly, while the May bug and ladybug are beetles.Most hemipterans feed on plants, using their sucking and piercing mouthparts to extract plant sap. Some are parasitic while others are predators that feed on other insects or small invertebrates. They live in a wide variety of habitats, generally terrestrial, though some species are adapted to life in or on the surface of fresh water. Hemipterans are hemimetabolous, with young nymphs that somewhat resemble adults. Many aphids are capable of parthenogenesis, producing young from unfertilised eggs; this helps them to reproduce extremely rapidly in favourable conditions.

Humans have interacted with the Hemiptera for millennia. Some species, including many aphids, are important agricultural pests, damaging crops by the direct action of sucking sap, but also harming them indirectly by being the vectors of serious viral diseases. Other species have been used for biological control of insect pests. Hemipterans have been cultivated for the extraction of the dyestuff cochineal (also known as carmine) and for shellac. The bed bug is a persistent parasite of humans. Cicadas have been used as food, and have appeared in literature from the Iliad in Ancient Greece.


The Laemobothriidae are a family of a larger group Amblycera of the chewing lice. Most commonly they are ectoparasites of birds. The genera are sometimes all united in Laemobothrion.


Myrmeleontoidea is a lacewing superfamily in the suborder Myrmeleontiformia.


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 name Palaeoptera has been traditionally applied to those ancestral groups of winged insects (most of them extinct) 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.


Panorpida or Mecopterida is a proposed superorder of Endopterygota. The conjectured monophyly of the Panorpida is historically based on morphological evidence, namely the reduction or loss of the ovipositor and several internal characteristics, including a muscle connecting a pleuron and the first axillary sclerite at the base of the wing, various features of the larval maxilla and labium, and basal fusion of CuP and A1 veins in the hind wings. The monophyly of the Panorpida is also supported by recent molecular data.


The name Prosorrhyncha is a name (proposed by Sorensen et al. 1995) for a suborder of Hemiptera, comprising a grouping of the traditional taxon "Heteroptera" plus its sister taxon, the family Peloridiidae (often classified as a suborder itself). There is no agreement on the status of this taxon, as there are two competing classifications regarding this branch of the Hemiptera; while some hemipterists follow this classification (link below), it has by no means been accepted universally. See the Heteroptera article for the detailed discussion, and a comparison of the two taxoboxes.

Note that there is a "conflict within the conflict" regarding the use of the name "Prosorrhyncha", as it is not the oldest name suggested for this particular group of taxa; the name "Heteropteroidea" (Schlee 1969) is older, as is "Heteropterodea" (Zrzavy 1992). However, as the Code of Nomenclature does not regulate taxon names above the rank of family, there is no actual rule that the oldest name must be given precedence. Prosorrhyncha is therefore given preference over the other names specifically because the suffixes of the older names are conventionally reserved for taxonomic ranks other than suborder, thus their use would create internal conflict and confusion (e.g., the ending "-oidea" is used for the rank of superfamily, meaning that if "Heteropteroidea" were adopted, it would include, within it, groups such as Pentatomoidea, Lygaeoidea, etc.).


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


Psocetae is an infraorder of Psocoptera. It includes the families Hemipsocidae, Myopsocidae, Psilopsocidae and Psocidae.


Psocodea is a taxonomic group of insects comprising the bark lice, book lice and true lice. It was formerly considered a superorder, but is now generally considered by entomologists as an order. Despite the greatly differing appearance of lice, they are believed to have evolved from within the former order "Psocoptera", which contained the bark lice and book lice. Psocodea contains around 11,000 species, divided among seven suborders.


Psylloidea is a superfamily of true bugs, including the jumping plant lice and others which have recently been classified as distinct families.


The Pterygota are a subclass of insects that includes the winged insects. It also includes insect orders that are secondarily wingless (that is, insect groups whose ancestors once had wings but that have lost them as a result of subsequent evolution).The pterygotan group comprises almost all insects. The insect orders not included are the Archaeognatha (jumping bristletails) and the Zygentoma (silverfishes and firebrats), two primitively wingless insect orders. Also not included are the three orders no longer considered to be insects: Protura, Collembola, and Diplura.


The Sternorrhyncha suborder of the Hemiptera contains the aphids, whiteflies, and scale insects, groups which were traditionally included in the order Homoptera. "Sternorrhyncha" refers to the rearward position of the mouthparts relative to the head.

Distributed worldwide, all members of this group are plant-feeders (phytophagous), and many are major crop and ornamental pests.

Many exhibit modified morphology and/or life cycles, including phenomena such as flightless morphs, parthenogenesis, sexual dimorphism, and eusociality.


Troctopsocidae is a family of Psocoptera belonging to the suborder Troctomorpha. The family consists of six genera.

Insect orders


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