The last 25 years of phylogenetic investigation into the three orders constituting the superorder Neuropterida—Raphidioptera, Megaloptera, and Neuroptera—have brought about a dramatic revision in our understanding of the evolution of lacewings, snakeflies, dobsonflies, and their diverse relatives. Phylogenetic estimations based on combined analyses of diverse data sources, ranging from adult and larval morphology to full mitochondrial genomic DNA, have begun to converge on similar patterns, many times in accordance with hypotheses put forth by Cyril Withycombe nearly a century ago. These data, in combination with information from the fossil record, have given a revised perspective on the historical evolution and classification of Neuropterida, necessitating an overhaul of their organization and providing focus and insight on fruitful future efforts for neuropterology.


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