Classification of Insect Orders

( from Wheeler et. al., 2001)
Order Name
Common name Adult mouthparts Wings (no. and type)
Protura Proturans Chewing Lacking
Collembola Springtails Chewing Lacking
Diplura Diplurans Chewing Lacking
Microcoryphia Jumping bristletails Chewing Lacking
Thysanura Bristletails, silverfish Chewing Lacking
Ephemeroptera Mayflies Vestigial 2 pair, may be reduced, membranous
Odonata Dragonflies, damselflies Chewing 2 pair, membranous
Orthoptera Grasshoppers, crickets, katydids Chewing 2 pair, or may be reduced; 1st pair tegmina
Phasmatodea Walkingsticks Chewing variable, 0-2 pair; tegmina
Grylloblattodea Rock crawlers Chewing lacking
Mantophasmatodea Chewing lacking
Dermaptera Earwigs Chewing 0-2 pair; front wings elytra
Plecoptera Stoneflies Chewing 2 pair, membranous
Embiidina Web spinners Chewing 0-2 pair; membranous
Zoraptera Zorapterans Chewing 0-2 pair
Isoptera Termites Chewing 0-2 pair
Mantodea Mantids Chewing 0-2 pair
Blattodea Cockroaches Chewing 0-2 pair;

Hemiptera* - now with 3 suborders;

  • Heteroptera - bugs
  • Auchenorrhyncha - cicadas, leafhoppers
  • Sternorrhyncha - aphids, scales

"True Bugs" Piercing, sucking 0-2 pair; front wings hemelytra
Thysanoptera Thrips Rasping, sucking 2 pair, fringed with hairs
Psocoptera Book and bark lice Chewing 0-2 pair

Phthiraptera* - several suborders

  • Amblycera
  • Ischnocera
  • Anoplura
Lice Chewing, piercing Lacking
Coleoptera Beetles Chewing 2 pair; front wings elytra
Neuroptera Lacewings, owlflies, mantispids, antlions Chewing 2 pair, membranous
Hymenoptera Bees, ants, wasps Chewing 0-2 pair, membranous
Trichoptera Caddisflies Chewing 2 pair, hairy or with scales
Lepidoptera Moths, butterflies Siphoning, vestigial 0-2 pair; usually covered with scales
Siphonaptera Fleas Piercing-sucking Lacking
Mecoptera Scorpionflies Chewing 0-2 pair
Strepsiptera Twisted-winged parasites ??? 0-2(1) pair
Diptera Flies Piercing, sucking, lapping 0-1 pair

Reference cited

Wheeler, W. C., M. Whiting, Q. D. Wheeler, and J. M. Carpenter. 2001. The phylogeny of the extant hexapod orders. Cladistics 17:113-169.