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Temporal range: 318–251 "Ma
"Late Carboniferous to "Late Permian
"Scientific classification
Kingdom: "Animalia
Phylum: "Arthropoda
Subphylum: "Hexapoda
Class: "Insecta
Superorder: "Palaeodictyopteroidea
Order: †Diaphanopterodea
"Handlirsch, 1919

The Diaphanopterodea or Paramegasecoptera are an extinct order of moderate to large-sized "Palaeozoic insects. They are first known from the Middle "Carboniferous (late "Serpukhovian or early "Bashkirian in age), and include some of the earliest known flying insects.


Despite their very early appearance in the insect fossil record, they represent a specialised group of "Palaeodictyopteroidea (Palaeozoic beaked insects), unique among representatives of that group in having evolved the ability to fold their wings over their thorax and abdomen in a manner similar to, but not "homologous with, the "Neopteran insects. The "nymphs also had an unusual appearance, being covered in numerous hairlike filaments.[1]

Diaphanopterodea are distinguished by a number of other characteristics, and are generally considered to be a "monophyletic group. About ten families are known. The group died out at the end of the "Permian period, victims of the "End-Permian mass-extinction, without leaving any descendants.


  1. ^ Hoell, H.V.; Doyen, J.T. & Purcell, A.H. (1998). Introduction to Insect Biology and Diversity (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 322. "ISBN "0-19-510033-6. 

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