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).[1]

Pterygota
Temporal range: Late Carboniferous–Recent
Gaint Honey Bee (Apis dorsata) on Tribulus terrestris W IMG 1020.jpg
Giant honey bee Apis dorsata on Tribulus terrestris (order Hymenoptera)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
(unranked): Dicondylia
Subclass: Pterygota
Lang, 1888
Orders
Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies)
Infraclass: Neoptera

For alternative classifications and fossil orders, see text.

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.

SystematicsEdit

Traditionally, this group was divided into the infraclasses Paleoptera and Neoptera. The former are nowadays strongly suspected of being paraphyletic, and better treatments (such as dividing or dissolving the group) are presently being discussed. In addition, it is not clear how exactly the neopterans are related among each other. The Exopterygota might be a similar assemblage of rather ancient hemimetabolous insects among the Neoptera like the Palaeoptera are among insects as a whole. The holometabolous Endopterygota seem to be very close relatives, indeed, but nonetheless appear to contain several clades of related orders, the status of which is not agreed upon.

The following scheme uses finer divisions than the one above, which is not well-suited to correctly accommodating the fossil groups.

Infraclass PalaeopteraEdit

(probably paraphyletic)

Infraclass NeopteraEdit

Superorder Exopterygota

Superorder Endopterygota

Neoptera orders incertae sedis

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Vincent H. Resh; Ring T. Cardé (4 April 2003). Encyclopedia of Insects. Academic Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-08-054605-6.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Pterygota at Wikimedia Commons