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Title: Neuropterida  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Neuroptera, Snakefly, Evolution of insects, Insect superorders, Protelytroptera
Collection: Insect Superorders, Insects
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Sialis lutaria (Megaloptera: Sialidae)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Infraclass: Neoptera
Superorder: Endopterygota
(unranked): Neuropterida

and see text


Neuroptera sensu Palker, 1982

The species-group names of the superorder Neuropterida (orders Neuroptera, Megaloptera, Raphidioptera, and Glosselytrodea) are catalogued. Catalogue coverage is worldwide in scope and includes names applied to both extant and extinct taxa. Separate catalogue records are provided for all known available scientific names, and many non-misspelling unavailable names, that are recorded in the scientific literature. Catalogue records include the following information for almost all names: basic nomenclatural and bibliographic data; taxonomic status and current name data; and classification, distribution and extant/fossil status data. Other information, available for many names, include: primary type and type locality data, chrono- and lithostratigraphic data (for fossils), and explanatory notes detailing special nomenclatural circumstances. This is a technical scientific catalogue produced primarily for use by professional and advanced avocational systematic entomologists.

The Mecoptera (scorpionflies) were formerly included here too by some authors, but they actually belong to the Mecopteroidea (or Antliophora), the endopterygote clade containing also true flies and fleas.

Neuropterida are fairly primitive-looking insects, with large wings but weak wing muscles, giving them a clumsy flight. Most are active at dusk or in the night as adults, and the larvae of many are aquatic, living in rivers. At least the larvae, but in many cases the adults too, are predators of small arthropods. Adult neuropteridans range in size from that of a midge to that of a large dragonfly (15 cm wingspan); the largest species tend to resemble drab, clumsily flying damselflies.

In addition to the three living orders, there is an entirely extinct family of Neuropterida, the monotypic Rafaelidae. These are of an indeterminate but probably rather basal position; thus the single genus Rafaelia from the Early Cretaceous Santana Formation's Crato Member in Brazil might for the time being be better placed in the Neuropterida directly, without assigning it to an order, until relatives are found and/or its systematic position gets resolved better.[1]


  1. ^ See references in Haaramo (2008)


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