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Temporal range: Early Cretaceous-Eocene, Albian–Middle Eocene
Aethiocarenus burmanicus.jpg
Aethiocarenus, a presumed alienopteran nymph
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Superorder: Dictyoptera
Order: Alienoptera
Bai et al, 2016
Type genus
Bai et al, 2016

Alienoptera is an extinct order of insects. It is part of Dictyoptera making it closely related to cockroaches and mantises. The majority of known members of the group are known from the Cenomanian aged Burmese amber from Myanmar;[1][2][3][4][5][6] however, the group also includes two genera (Apiblatta and Vcelesvab) from the Albian Crato Formation (Brazil), as well as two genera (Chimaeroblattina and Grant) from the middle Eocene Green River Formation (Colorado, United States). Some taxa are have been suggested mimics of various hymenopterans, including bees and ants.[4] However this was mostly rejected in another study.[7] Some taxa were probably predators adapted to moving through dense foliage.[7]

Vršanský et al. (2018) did not consider Alienoptera to be a separate insect order; instead, the authors assigned the family Alienopteridae to the order Blattaria and to the superfamily Umenocoleoidea as sister to Umenocoleidae.[4] However, the term Alienoptera was retained by Wipfler et al. (2019).[7]


  1. ^ Kočárek, Petr (2018). "Alienopterella stigmatica gen. et sp. nov.: the second known species and specimen of Alienoptera extends knowledge about this Cretaceous order (Insecta: Polyneoptera)". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 17: 1–10. doi:10.1080/14772019.2018.1440440. ISSN 1477-2019.
  2. ^ Bai, Ming; Beutel, Rolf Georg; Klass, Klaus-Dieter; Zhang, Weiwei; Yang, Xingke; Wipfler, Benjamin (2016). "†Alienoptera — A new insect order in the roach–mantodean twilight zone". Gondwana Research. 39: 317. doi:10.1016/
  3. ^ Ming Bai; Rolf Georg Beutel; Weiwei Zhang; Shuo Wang; Marie Hörnig; Carsten Gröhn; Evgeny Yan; Xingke Yang; Benjamin Wipfler (2018). "A new Cretaceous insect with a unique cephalo-thoracic scissor device". Current Biology. 28 (3): 438–443.e1. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2017.12.031. PMID 29395923.
  4. ^ a b c Peter Vršanský; Günter Bechly; Qingqing Zhang; Edmund A. Jarzembowski; Tomáš Mlynský; Lucia Šmídová; Peter Barna; Matúš Kúdela; Danil Aristov; Sonia Bigalk; Lars Krogmann; Liqin Li; Qi Zhang; Haichun Zhang; Sieghard Ellenberger; Patrick Müller; Carsten Gröhn; Fangyuan Xia; Kyoichiro Ueda; Peter Vďačný; Daniel Valaška; Lucia Vršanská; Bo Wang (2018). "Batesian insect-insect mimicry-related explosive radiation of ancient alienopterid cockroaches". Biologia. 73 (10): 987–1006. doi:10.2478/s11756-018-0117-3.
  5. ^ Jan Hinkelman (2019). "Earliest behavioral mimicry and possible food begging in a Mesozoic alienopterid pollinator". Biologia. 75: 83–92. doi:10.2478/s11756-019-00278-z.
  6. ^ Hemen Sendi; Jan Hinkelman; Lucia Vršanská; Tatiana Kúdelová; Matúš Kúdela; Marcus Zuber; Thomas van de Kamp; Peter Vršanský (2020). "Roach nectarivory, gymnosperm and earliest flower pollination evidence from Cretaceous ambers". Biologia. Online edition. doi:10.2478/s11756-019-00412-x.
  7. ^ a b c Wipfler, Benjamin; Kočárek, Petr; Richter, Adrian; Boudinot, Brendon; Bai, Ming; Beutel, Rolf Georg (2019-10-31). "Structural features and life habits of †Alienoptera (Polyneoptera, Dictyoptera, Insecta)". Palaeoentomology. 2 (5): 465–473. doi:10.11646/palaeoentomology.2.5.10. ISSN 2624-2834.