Reconstruction and photograph of hind wing of Diaphanoptera munieri, from Bethoux & Nel (2003).

Belongs within: Palaeoptera.

The Diaphanopterodea are a group of plant-sucking insects known from the Middle Carboniferous to the Early Permian, noteworthy for having evolved the ability to fold the wings back along the body apparently independently of the Neoptera. The earliest Prochoropteridae are known from the Westphalian of North America (Sinitshenkova 2002).

Characters (from Sinitshenkova 2002): Robust or slender insects of medium to large size (20-80 mm wingspread). Head small with convex lateral eyes, and short to medium length sucking beak directed below. Prothoracic paranota lateral, small. Wings similar, usually almost identical in form and venation of both pairs, lacking archedictyon, moderately or well costalised (with C, SC, and R thick and running relatively close to each other, though costal space sometimes rather wide), with alternating convex (C, R, MA, CuA, A) and concave (RS, MP, CuP), with costal margin straight to moderately convex, MA simple, tightened sub-basally by cross-vein to or fused for a distance with RS, M5 usually retained, cross-vein-like or forming false CuA base. Legs with tarsi three-segmented, otherwise not evidently specialised. Abdomen segments lacking paranota. Ovipositor cutting, with sheath shorter than stylets, bearing long stylus. Cerci very long, very rarely found in males.

<==Diaphanopterodea [Diaphanopterida]
    |  i. s.: Philiasptilon BN03
    |           |--*P. maculosum Zalessky 1931 BN03
    |           `--P. hueneckeni Pinto & Pinto de Ornellas 1978 BN03
    |         Diaphterum Pinto 1998 BN03
    |--Biarmohymenidae S02
    |--Elmoidae BN03
    |--Martynoviidae S02
    |--Prochoroptera Handlirsch 1911 BN03 [Prochoropteridae S02]
    |    `--P. calopteryx RJ93
    |--Asthenohymen [Asthenohymenidae] S02
    |    `--A. uralicum S02
    |--Paruralia [Paruraliidae] S02
    |    `--P. rohdendorfi S02
    |--Permohymen [Permohymenidae] RJ93
    |    `--P. schucherti K-P91
    |--‘Uralia’ Kukalova-Peck & Sinichenkova 1992 S02, EH19 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |--U. maculata Kukalova-Peck & Sinitshenkova 1992 K03 [=Permuralia maculata S02]
    |    `--U. rodendorfi K-P91
    `--Diaphanoptera Brongniart 1893 (see below for synonymy) BN03
         |--*D. munieri Brongniart 1893 [incl. Diaphanoptera superba Meunier 1908, Diaphanopterites superbus] BN03
         |--D. scudderi Brongniart 1893 (n.d.) BN03
         `--D. vetusta Brongniart 1893 BN03

‘Uralia’ Kukalova-Peck & Sinichenkova 1992 nec Mulsant & Verreaux 1866 nec Likharev 1925 nec Martynova 1976 S02, EH19 [Parelmoidae BN03]

Diaphanoptera Brongniart 1893 [incl. Diaphanopterites Handlirsch 1919, Pseudanthracothremma Handlirsh 1906; Diaphanopteridae, Diaphanopteritidae] BN03

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BN03] Bethoux, O., & A. Nel. 2003. Revision of Diaphanoptera species and new diagnosis of Diaphanopteridae (Palaeoptera: Diaphanopteridae). Journal of Paleontology 77 (5): 1016–1020.

[EH19] √Čnay, R., & M. K. Howarth. 2019. Part L, revised, volume 3B, chapter 7: Systematic descriptions of the Perisphinctoidea. Treatise Online 120: 1–184.

[K03] Kluge, N. J. 2003. About evolution and homology of genital appendages of insects. Trudy Russkogo Entomologicheskogo Obshestva [Proceedings of the Russian Entomological Society] 74: 3–16.

[K-P91] Kukalov√°-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).

[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.

[S02] Sinitshenkova, N. D. 2002. Superorder Dictyoneuridea Handlirsch, 1906 (=Palaeodictyopteroidea). In: Rasnitsyn, A. P., & D. L. J. Quicke (eds) History of Insects pp. 115–124. Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht.

Last updated: 26 May 2022.

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