Posted: Dec 31, 2010 11:48 pm
by Sityl
susu.exp wrote:It´s worth noting that bugs are insects belonging to the Hemiptera, whereas leaf insects belong to a group called Euphasmida. They are distantly related, but their most recent common ancestor was at the base of the Neoptera. Butterflies and Beetles have a closer relationship than that. It bugs me (no pun intended) sometimes, that people don´t check these things with insects first. Imagine somebody writing a thread called "huge bat swimming the ocean feeding on krill", asking how evolution allowed a bat to swim through the ocean feeding on krill and meaning blue whales. They aren´t bats of course, but both bats and whales are mammals. Calling Phasmids bugs isn´t that different (it´s just a group that we aren´t as much involved as as mammals, but making up most of metazoan diversity should count for something).

Thanks for the info. Can you give us any idea of how long ago the Neopterian split between bugs proper and stick "bugs" happened? How long ago did bats and whales split? I know these will be rougher estimates based on available data, but it seems like if we had rough timelines these things would be easier to grasp.

By the way, for those who don't know what a "Neoptera" is,

They're basically all winged insects who can flex their wings over their abdomen, including earwigs, cockroaches, grasshoppers, termites, mantises, lice, ants, bees, beetles, fleas, butterflies, and moths. So it seems that it's a quite large classification.