Typified names:

Oothecophora Kluge 2010

NOMEN: Oothecophora Kluge 2010 [N.J. Kluge. Circumscriptional names of higher taxa in Hexapoda. – Bionomina, 2010, No.1: 15–55]. PDF

ORIGINAL LISTED MEMBERSHIP (Kluge 2010): Neoblattariae + Isoptera



MODERN STATUS:  the valid, the oldest name of a generally accepted, holophyletic taxon.

Systematic position and classification of Oothecophora:

Holopandictyoptera = Pandictyoptera s.l. (Blatta/fg1)
  † pm.
Palaeoblattariae (Mylacris/fg1)
Cryptovipositoria = Pandictyoptera s.str. (Blatta/fg2)
Raptoriae (Mantis/fg1)
Oothecophora (Blatta/fg3)
Neoblattariae (Blatta/fg4)
Isoptera (Termes/fg1)

Kluge 2010 BioNomina Dual-Nom :

The new name Oothecophora Kluge 2010 is proposed for the taxon Neoblattariae + Isoptera, separated from Raptoriae based on the following autapomorphic characters: (1) Median ocellus absent. (2) Ovipositor strongly reduced and completely hidden in the outer genital chamber, where the ootheca is formed (Isoptera and some Neoblattariae do not form oothecae); eggs are packed in two rows (this is true for Neoblattariae and Isoptera-Hemiclidoptera, while in Isoptera-Crypticlidoptera eggs are not packed). (3) Six abdominal ganglia (vs. seven in Raptoriae).

The Isoptera are generally accepted to have originated from within the Neoblattariae. However, no circumscriptional name has been proposed yet for the holophyletic taxon Neoblattariae + Isoptera. Hennig (1969, 1981) applied to it the typified name Blattodea, traditionally used for cockroaches alone.

The plesiomorphon Palaeoblattariae Scudder 1879 includes extinct taxa only whose long, functional ovipositor separate them from the Oothecophora (and Cryptovipositoria in general). Originally, Scudder (1879) included in the Palaeoblattariae the extinct forms placed in genera Mylacris Scudder 1868, Archimylacris Scudder 1868, and the newly described genera Lithomylacris, Necymylacris, Etoblattina, Anthracoblattina, Gerablattina, Hermatoblattina, Progonoblattina, Oryctoblattina, and Petrablattina. The Neoblattariae Scudder 1895 originally encompassed all Recent cockroaches plus the extinct Mesozoic genera Neorthroblattina Scudder 1885 and Scutinoblattina Scudder 1885, and originally excluded, besides the palaeoblattarian taxa listed above, the extinct forms arranged in genera Paromylacris Scudder 1885, Microblattina Scudder 1895, Spiloblattina Scudder 1884, Poroblattina Scudder 1885, and Leptoblattina Woodward 1887, all placed by Scudder (1895) with the Palaeoblattariae. All these extinct forms were originally described based on wing venation only; palaeoblattarian specimens with ovipositors were discovered later, but for most species Scudder originally included in the Palaeoblattariae there is still no evidence of ovipositor or lack thereof.

The name Palaeoblattida Brongniart 1893 was introduced as emendation of Palaeoblattariae Scudder 1879 and originally applied to a family consisting of the same set of taxa as Scudder’s Palaeoblattariae, to which Brongniart added a number of new species. He also provided drawings of the Anthracoblattina ensifer and Etoblattina sp. females with long ovipositors (Brongniart 1893: Pl.XLIII (32): Fig. 2–4).

To avoid creating new names, I suggest to accept the original circumscriptions of both Palaeoblattariae Scudder 1897 and Palaeoblattida Brongniart 1893 as fitting the plesiomorphon excluding Cryptovipositoria, and the original circumscription of Neoblattariae Scudder 1895 as fitting a taxon within Cryptovipositoria-Oothecophora, until proven otherwise.


Brongniart C. 1893. Recherches pour servir à l’histoire des insectes fossiles des temps primaires précédées d’une étude sur la nervation des ailes des insectes. Saint-Etienne: 1–493.

Hennig W. 1969. Die Stammesgeschichte der Insecten. Frankfurt am Main (Krammer): 1–436.

Hennig W. 1981. Insect phylogeny. Translated and edited by A. C. Pont, revision notes by D. Sclee. Chichester, New York, Brisbane & Toronto (John Wiley & Sons): 1–514.

Scudder S. H. 1879. Palaeozoic cockroaches: a complete revision of the species of both worlds, with an essay toward their classification. // Memoirs of the Boston Society of natural History, 3 (1), No.3: 23–133, 6 pl.

Scudder S.H. 1895. The fossil cockroaches of North America. // Proceedings and Transactions of the royal Society of Canada, 12 (4): 147–153.