Polyneoptera is a name sometimes applied to an assemblage of 11 insect orders comprising the lower neopterous or “orthopteroid” insects. These orders include familiar insects such as grasshoppers, roaches, termites, earwigs and preying mantises; as well as the more obscure web-spinners, angel insects and ice-crawlers. Many of these insect orders exhibit a high degree of morphological specialization, a condition which has lead to multiple phylogenetic hypotheses and little consensus among investigators. Phylogenetic relationships among these insects are poorly known, and we are using molecular and morphological data to provide greater resolution to this portion of the insect tree, and to provide a robust placement for the newly described Mantophasmatodea.
This research has been chiefly the work of Matthew Terry.