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Brief Summary

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Palaeodictyoptera is an extinct order of insect that existed from the Middle Carboniferous (late Serpukhovian or early Bashkirian in age) to the late Permian, 325 to 251 mya (Carpenter, 1992).

The order is defined by beak-like mouthparts, and its "six wings", which are defined by similarly appearing fore- and hind-wings, and an additional pair of winglets (that are in reality, large paranotal lobes - extensions of the throacic segment). The winglets are located on the prothorax (first three segments of the thorax), in front of the first pair of wings. The first four technical wings of Palaeodictyoptera are characterized by defined markings (Hoell et al., 1998; Grimaldi & Engel, 2005).

Insects within the order Palaeodictyoptera had elongated mouthparts. The mouth parts of this organism are composed of a piercing portion and evidence of a possible pump-like organ. It is thought that these insects used their mouthparts to siphon nutritious juices from soft-tissued plants. There are some species that may have been predatory or ecto-parasites, like mosquitoes (Rasnitsyn & Quicke, 2002; Grimaldi & Engel, 2005).

An additional feature of Palaeodictyoptera was its unusually long cerci, that were roughly twice the length of the abdomen. Cerci are paired appendages that project from the back of many insects abdomens and perform a sensory role (Hoell et al., 1998).

There was amazing diversity in Palaeodictyoptera size, but some were quite large. For example, one had a wingspan of nearly 55 centimetres (22 in) (Carpenter, 1992).

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Joseph Villari
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Systematics or Phylogenetics

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The order Palaeodictyoptera is a not monophyletic group. It is organized into a functional group with similar features, under the basal palaeodictyopteroidean insects (Carpenter, 1992; Grimaldi & Engel, 2005).

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Morphology

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The order is defined by beak-like mouthparts, and its "six wings", which are defined by similarly appearing fore- and hind wings, and an additional pair of winglets (that are in reality, large paranotal lobes- extensions of the throacic segment) that are located on the prothorax, in front of the first pair of wings. The first four technical wings of Palaeodictyoptera are characterized by defined markings (Hoell et al., 1998; Grimaldi & Engel, 2005).

Insects within the order Palaeodictyoptera had elongated mouthparts. The mouth parts of this organism are composed of a piercing portion and evidence of a possible pump-like organ. It is thought that these insects used their mouthparts to siphon nutritious juices from soft-tissued plants. There are some species that may have been predatory or ecto-parasites, such as mosquitoes (Rasnitsyn & Quicke, 2002; Grimaldi & Engel, 2005).

An additional feature of Palaeodictyoptera was its unusually long cerci, that were roughly twice the length of the abdomen. Cerci are paired appendages that project from the back of many insects abdomens and perform a sensory role (Hoell et al., 1998).

There was amazing diversity in the size of Palaeodictyoptera, but some were quite large. For example, one had a wingspan of nearly 55 centimeters (22 in) (Carpenter, 1992).

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Joseph Villari
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General Ecology

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Insects within the order Palaeodictyoptera had elongated mouthparts. The mouth parts of this organism are composed of a piercing portion and evidence of a possible pump-like organ. It is thought that these insects used their mouthparts to siphon nutritious juices from soft-tissued plants. There are some species that may have been predatory or ecto-parasites, like mosquitoes (Rasnitsyn & Quicke, 2002; Grimaldi & Engel, 2005).

license
cc-by-3.0
copyright
Joseph Villari
original
visit source
partner site
EOL authors