Reconstruction of Meganeuropsis by Karen Carr.

Belongs within: Palaeoptera.
Contains: Pandiscoidalia.

The Odonatoptera contain the living Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) plus all fossil taxa more closely related to odonates than other living insects. The earliest known odonatopterans are recorded from the Upper Carboniferous. These include the Eugeropteridae which resembled contemporaneous Palaeodictyoptera in possessing well-developed pronotal lobes but lacked an archedictyon. The best known of the basal odonatopterans are the meganeurids which had the largest wingspans of any known insect, up to about 640 mm in Meganeuropsis permiana (Grimaldi & Engel 2005).

Characters (from Grimaldi & Engel 2005): Wings with anal region reduced; distinctive form of bracing with kink in CuP where it meets AA; only two articular plates at wing base.

<==Odonatoptera [Libellulida, Libellulidea, Meganeurina, Odonatoidea, Odonatomorpha]
    |  i. s.: Namurotypus [Namurotypidae] RP02
    |           `--N. sippeli RJ93
    |         Titanophasma fayoli RP02
    |         Parahemiphlebia mickoleiti GE05
    |         Mesophlebiidae RJ93
    |           |--Mesophlebia antinodalis Tillyard 1916 F71
    |           `--Peraphlebia tetrastichia Jell & Duncan 1986 RJ93
    |         Solikamptilonidae RJ93
    |--Eugeropteridae [Geroptera] GE05
    |    |--Eogeropteron lunatum RP02
    |    `--Geropteron arcuatum RP02
    `--Holodonata GE05
         |--Odonatoclada RP02
         |    |--Campylopteridae [Campylopterodea] RP02
         |    `--Panodialata NB01
         |         |--Lapeyria [Lapeyriidae] NB01
         |         |    `--L. magnifica Nel, Gand & Garric 1999 NB01
         |         `--Nodialata RP02
         |              |--Pandiscoidalia RP02
         |              `--Ditaxineuroidea [Protanisoptera] RP02
         |                   |  i. s.: Hemizygopteron Zallesskiy 1955 NB01
         |                   |--Callimokaltaniidae RP02
         |                   |--Kaltanoneuridae RP02
         |                   |--Polytaxineura Tillyard 1935 NB01 [Polytaxineuridae RP02]
         |                   |    `--P. stanleyi RJ93
         |                   |--Ditaxineura R70 [Ditaxineuridae GE05]
         |                   |    `--D. anomalostigma R70
         |                   `--Permaeschnidae GE05
         |                        |--Permaeschna Martynov 1931 NB01
         |                        `--Gondvanoptilon brasiliense RJ93
         `--Protodonata [Meganeuroidea, Meganeuromorpha, Meganisoptera] GE05
              |--Kohlwaldiidae NB01
              |--Oligotypus RJ93 [Paralogidae GE05]
              |    `--O. tillyardi R70
              |--Kargalotypus Rohdendorf 1962 [Kargalotypidae, Kargalotypinae] NB01
              |    `--*K. kargalensis (Martynov 1932) [=Megatypus kargalensis] NB01
              |--Erasipteridae W79
              |    |--Erasipteroides valentini GE05
              |    |--Erasipterella piesbergensis RJ93
              |    `--Erasipteron Pruvost 1933 W79
              |         |--*E. larischi Pruvost 1933 W79
              |         `--E. bolsoveri Whalley 1979 W79
              `--Meganeuridae GE05
                   |--Arctotypus sinuatus GE05
                   |--Meganeuropsis permiana Z02 [incl. M. americana GE05]
                   |--Meganeura monyi GE05
                   |--Megatypus schucherti GE05
                   |--Tupus gracilis GE05
                   `--Meganeurula K-P91

Nomen nudum: Oligotypus britannicus RJ93

*Type species of generic name indicated


[F71] Fletcher, H. O. 1971. Catalogue of type specimens of fossils in the Australian Museum, Sydney. Australian Museum Memoir 13: 1–167.

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[K-P91] Kukalová-Peck, J. 1991. Fossil history and the evolution of hexapod structures. In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers vol. 1 pp. 141–179. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[NB01] Nel, A., O. Bethoux, G. Bechly, X. Martínez-Delclòs & F. Papier. 2001. The Permo-Triassic Odonatoptera of the “protodonate” grade (Insecta: Odonatoptera). Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (N.S.) 37 (4): 501–525.

[RP02] Rasnitsyn, A. P., & L. N. Pritykina. 2002. Superorder Libellulidea Laicharting, 1781. Order Odonata Fabricius, 1792. The dragonflies. In: Rasnitsyn, A. P., & D. L. J. Quicke (eds) History of Insects pp. 97–104. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht.

[R70] Riek, E. F. 1970. Fossil history. In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers pp. 168–186. Melbourne University Press.

[RJ93] Ross, A. J., & E. A. Jarzembowski. 1993. Arthropoda (Hexapoda; Insecta). In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 363–426. Chapman & Hall: London.

[W79] Whalley, P. E. S. 1979. New species of Protorthoptera and Protodonata (Insecta) from the upper Carboniferous of Britain, with a comment on the origin of wings. Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History (Geology) 32: 85–90.

[Z02] Zherikhin, V. V. 2002. Ecological history of the terrestrial insects. In: Rasnitsyn, A. P., & D. L. J. Quicke (eds) History of Insects pp. 331–388. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht.

Last updated: 30 May 2022.

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