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Insects and other arthropods

Chart of the orders of insects

Dragonfly, of the order Odonata.
Photo: André Sarrazin
Odonata (Order)

This chart presents the 30 orders* of insects known at present. It also provides information about the type of metamorphosis, wings and mouthparts of adults.


Order Examples Wings Type of mouth parts Metamorphosis
Archaeognatha Petrobius maritimus None Chewing None
Blattodea Cockroaches Four Chewing Incomplete
Coleoptera Ladybugs, scarab beetles, lightning bugs  Usually four; hard, ribless front wings and folded, membranous back wings Chewing Complete
Dermaptera Earwigs None or four; short, thick front wings, folded back wings  Chewing Incomplete
Diptera Flies and mosquitoes  Two, very rarely none, back legs modified into halters Sucking-licking or piercing-sucking Complete
Embioptera Anisembia texana None (females and some males), four (males); similar front and back wings  Chewing Incomplete
Ephemeroptera Mayflies Four (sometimes two); triangular, membranous back wings are smaller than front wings  Vestigial mouthparts Incomplete
Grylloblattodea Grylloblatta barberi None Chewing Incomplete
Hemiptera Giant water bug None or four; front wings thick at the base or uniformly membranous front wings  Piercing-sucking Incomplete
Hymenoptera Bees, bumblebees, wasps and ants Four, very rarely none; sparse ribs; front wings larger than back wings Chewing or chewing-licking Complete
Blattodea Termites Four, rarely none; sparse ribs, similar front and back wings Chewing Incomplete
Lepidoptera Butterflies and moths Four scaly wings, rarely none Sucking Complete
Mantophasmatodea Mantophasma zephyra None Chewing Incomplete
Mantodea Mantids Four Chewing Incomplete
Mecoptera Scorpionflies  None or four similar, narrow wings  Chewing Complete
Megaloptera Dobsonflies Four; front and back wings are similar, with abundant ribs Chewing Complete
Neuroptera Lacewings Four; front and back wings are similar, with abundant ribs Chewing Complee
Odonata Dragonflies  Four similar wings with abundant rubs  Chewing Incomplete
Orthoptera Grasshoppers, locusts None or four (sometimes small); thick, narrow front wings and folded back wings  Chewing Incomplete
Phasmatodea Stick insects None or four; narrow front wings, folded back wings Chewing Incomplete
Phthiraptera  Lice None Chewing or piercing-sucking Incomplete
Plecoptera Stoneflies Four; narrow front wings, wide back wings Chewing Incomplete
Psocoptera  Book lice None or four; sparse ribs, front wings larger than back wings Chewing Incomplete
Raphidioptera Snakeflies Four; front and back wings are similar, with abundant ribs Chewing Complete
Siphonaptera Fleas None Sucking Complete
Strepsiptera Stylops  None (females), four (males); reduced front wings and triangular back wings Vestigial mouthparts Complete
Thysanoptera Thrips  None or four long, narrow fringed wings  Sucking Between incomplete and complete
Thysanura Silverfish None Chewing None
Trichoptera Caddisflies Four hairy wings. Chewing, greatly reduced mouthparts Complete
Zoraptera Zorotypus newi None or four long, narrow, fringed front wings; front wings larger than back wings  Chewing Incomplete


* Adapted from Gullan P.J. & P. S. Cranston. 2010. The Insects: An Outline of Entomology.

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