Temporal range: Pennsylvanian–Recent
|"Panorpa communis, a "scorpionfly (order Mecoptera)|
Endopterygota, also known as Holometabola, is a "superorder of "insects within the infraclass "Neoptera that go through distinctive "larval, "pupal, and adult stages. They undergo a radical "metamorphosis, with the "larval and adult stages differing considerably in their structure and behaviour. This is called "holometabolism, or complete metamorphism.
The Endopterygota are among the most diverse insect superorders, with about 850,000 living species divided between 11 "orders, containing insects such as "butterflies, "flies, "fleas, "bees, "ants, and "beetles.
They are distinguished from the "Exopterygota (or Hemipterodea) by the way in which their wings develop. Endopterygota (meaning literally "internal winged forms") develop wings inside the body and undergo an elaborate metamorphosis involving a pupal stage. Exopterygota ("external winged forms") develop wings on the outside their bodies and do not go through a pupal stage. The latter trait is "plesiomorphic, however, and not exclusively found in the exopterygotes, but also in groups such as "Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies), which are not Neoptera, but more "basal among insects.
This section needs additional citations for "verification. (November 2010) ("Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The Endopterygota are sometimes divided into three assemblages: Neuropteroida (Neuroptera, Megaloptera, Raphidioptera, and Coleoptera), "Hymenopteroida (Hymenoptera), and Panorpoida (Siphonaptera, Diptera, Trichoptera, Lepidoptera, Strepsiptera, and Mecoptera). The "hymenopterans, with their highly developed "social systems, were believed to have constituted the most advanced insects, despite their rather "primitive" "anatomy compared to "flies and "beetles, for example.
More recently, this has increasingly been rejected and "DNA sequence data seem to verify that the hymenopterans are indeed among the most "basal endopterygotes, whereas flies and "fleas are often considered the most radically advanced insects. This calls the previous subdivision into question, and consequently several new "taxa have been proposed, splitting up the Endopterygota. While some groups (such as the "sucking-stinging" fly-flea assemblage or the caddisfly-butterfly group) seem indeed to be good "clades, it is not likely that the relationships of the endopterygotes, or the neopteran insects in general, will be resolved in detail soon.
|Endopterygota "sensu stricto||
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Endopterygota.|