Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Very Colorful Insect Phylogeny


Phylogeny shows the genetic relationship between different taxonomic groups. In this one the insects on the right are more "advanced" (more evolutionarily derived). Isn't it just great to appreciate the diversity and beauty of insects?

Left to right:
(bottom) Thysanura, Odonata, Ephemeroptera, Orthoptera, Dermptera, Blattodea, Hemiptera, Neuroptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Diptera
(top-left) Carabidae, Staphylinidae, Scarabaeidae, Curculionidae, Chrysomelidae
(top-right) Culicidae, Asilidae, Bombyliidae, Calliphoridae, Tachinidae

PS. Emphemeroptera is actually a bit more primitive than Odonata, but I accidentally switched their place. Later I found it probably looks better compositionally as it now.


  1. Replies
    1. I asked Prof. Y. the same question before. He said actually all the holometabolous insects (the ones that go through larva -> pupa -> adult stages) are about the same. However Diptera (flies) and Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) might appear a bit later in history than Coleoptera (beetles). What we can be sure is that Coleoptera is more closely related to Neuroptera, and Diptera to Lepidoptera.

      Flies are indeed very advanced insects! They have highly specialized adults and larva, and their speed of reproduction and occupying new niches is beyond compare. Good question!

  2. 那些虫都做的很生動