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Temporal range: Carboniferous – Recent
Scientific classification

Blattodea (cockroaches and termites) Mantodea – (mantids)

maybe Phasmatodea – (phasmids)

Dictyoptera includes two orders of insects – cockroackes and temites (Blattodea), and mantids (Mantodea).

While all modern Dictyoptera have short ovipositors, the oldest fossils of Dictyoptera have long ovipositors, much like members of the Orthoptera.

The term Dictyoptera is usually considered a superorder, with Isoptera, Blattaria and Mantodea being its three orders. In some classifications, however, Dictyoptera is shifted to order status.

Regardless, in all classifications the three constituent groups are the same, just treated at different rank. Termites and cockroaches are very closely related, with ecological and molecular data pointing to a relationship with the cockroach genus Cryptocercus.[1][2]

Based on genetic evidence, the closest living relatives of the Dictyoptera are the phasmids. If the Dictyoptera are a superorder they might be included in it.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Lo N. et al. 2000. Evidence from multiple gene sequences indicates that termites evolved from wood-feeding cockroaches. Current Biology 10(13):801-804.
  2. Inward D; G. Beccaloni and P. Eggleton 2007. Death of an order: a comprehensive molecular phylogenetic study confirms that termites are eusocial cockroaches. Biology Letters 3:331-335. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2007.0102
  3. Cameron, Stephen L.; Barker, Stephen C. & Whiting, Michael F. 2006. Mitochondrial genomics and the new insect order Mantophasmatodea. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 38: 274–279. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.09.020 (HTML abstract)