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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Subclassis: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Infraclassis: Neoptera
Cladus: Eumetabola
Cladus: Endopterygota
Superordo: Panorpida
Cladus: Antliophora
Ordo: Mecoptera

Familia: Nannochoristidae
Genera (9): Nannochorista – †Dahurochorista – †Dahurolarva – †Itaphlebia – †Nannochoristella – †Neochoristella – †Protochoristella – †Robinjohnia – ?†Jichoristella

Nannochoristidae Tillyard, 1917
Type genus: Nannochorista Tillyard, 1917


Byers, G.W. 1989: The Nannochoristidae of South America (Mecoptera). University of Kansas science bulletin, 54(2): 25–34. BHL
Ferrington, L.C., jr. 2008: Global biodiversity of scorpionflies and hangingflies (Mecoptera) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia, 595(1): 443–445. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-007-9133-y
Kristensen, N.P. 1989: The New Zealand scorpionfly (Nannochorista philpotti comb. n.): wing morphology and its phylogenetic significance. Zeitschrift für Zoologische Systematik und Evolutionsforschung, 27(2): 106–114. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0469.1989.tb00335.x
Tillyard, R.J. 1917: Studies in Australian Mecoptera. No. i. The new family Nannochoristidae, with descriptions of a new genus and four new species: and an appendix descriptive of a new genus and species from New Zealand. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 42: 284–301. BHL


Australian Faunal Directory
Paleobiology Database

Vernacular names
中文: 小蝎蛉科

Nannochoristidae is a family of scorpionflies with many unusual traits. It is a tiny, relict family with a single extant genus, Nannochorista, with eight species occurring in New Zealand, southeastern Australia, Tasmania, and Chile. Due to the groups distinctiveness from other scorpionflies, it is sometimes placed in its own order, the Nannomecoptera. Some studies have placed them as the closest living relatives of fleas.[1] Most mecopteran larvae are eruciform, or shaped like caterpillars. Nannochoristid larvae, however, are elateriform, and have elongated and slender bodies. The larvae are aquatic, which is unique among mecopterans. The larvae are predatory, hunting on the beds of shallow streams, primarily on the larvae of aquatic Diptera like chironomids.[2]

Fossils indicate that Nannochoristidae formerly had a wider distribution, being present in the Northern Hemisphere during the Jurassic and Early Cretaceous.[3]

Some research suggests the nannochoristids are the only holometabolous insects with true larval compound eyes .[4] All other eyed larvae have stemmata, which are structurally different from adult compound eyes with ommatidia. This is unusual, since most adult features are present as imaginal discs in larvae and not formed until pupation. The presence of compound eyes in nannochoristid larvae suggests the timing of the development of adult features can be initiated earlier in development, which has important implications for insect evolutionary development.

The cladogram of external relationships, based on a 2008 DNA and protein analysis, shows the family as a clade, sister to the Siphonaptera (fleas) and rest of Mecoptera, and more distantly related to the Diptera (true flies) and Mecoptera (scorpionflies).[5][6][7][8]


Diptera (true flies) Common house fly, Musca domestica.jpg



Mecoptera (scorpionflies, hangingflies) (exc. Boreidae & Nannochoristidae)

Gunzesrieder Tal Insekt 3.jpg

Boreidae (snow scorpionflies) Boreus hiemalis2 detail.jpg

Siphonaptera (fleas) British Entomologycutted Plate114.png


Trichoptera (caddisflies) Sericostoma.personatum.jpg

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) Tyria jacobaeae-lo.jpg

Hymenoptera (sawflies, wasps, ants, bees) AD2009Sep09 Vespula germanica 03.jpg

(part of Endopterygota)

A more recent study in 2021 found Nannochoristidae to be the sister group to fleas, with strong support.[1]


Diptera (true flies) Common house fly, Musca domestica.jpg

Boreidae (snow scorpionflies, 30 spp.) Boreus hiemalis2 detail.jpg

Nannochoristidae (southern scorpionflies, 8 spp.)

Siphonaptera (fleas, 2500 spp.) British Entomologycutted Plate114.png

Pistillifera (scorpionflies, hangingflies, 400 spp.) Gunzesrieder Tal Insekt 3.jpg


After Cao et al. 2022.[9]

Nannochorista Tillyard, 1917 (8 species: Argentina, Chile, Tasmania, Australia) Koonwarra fossil bed, Australia, Early Cretaceous (Aptian)
†Dahurochorista Sukatsheva 1985 (one species: Ichetuy Formation, Russia, Late Jurassic (Oxfordian)
†Dahurolarva Sukatsheva 1985 (one species: Ichetuy Formation, Oxfordian, Russia) (based on larvae only)
†Itaphlebia Sukatsheva 1985 (14 species) Itat Formation, Russia, Middle Jurassic (Bathonian), Daohugou, China, Middle Jurassic (Callovian), Karabastau Formation, Kazakhstan, Late Jurassic (Oxfordian) Doronino Formation, Russia, Early Cretaceous (Barremian)
†Namdyrus Sukacheva 1993 Khaya Formation, Russia, Late Jurassic (Tithonian)
†Tarantogus Sukatsheva, 1985 Itat Formation, Russia, Bathonian (based on larvae only)
†Undisca Sukatsheva, 1990 Glushkovo Formation, Russia, Tithonian


Tihelka, Erik; Giacomelli, Mattia; Huang, Di-Ying; Pisani, Davide; Donoghue, Philip C. J.; Cai, Chen-Yang (2020-12-21). "Fleas are parasitic scorpionflies". Palaeoentomology. 3 (6): 641–653–641–653. doi:10.11646/palaeoentomology.3.6.16. hdl:1983/8d3c12c6-529c-4754-b59d-3abf88a32fc9. ISSN 2624-2834. S2CID 234423213.
Fraulob, Maximilian; Wipfler, Benjamin; Hünefeld, Frank; Pohl, Hans; Beutel, Rolf G. (March 2012). "The larval abdomen of the enigmatic Nannochoristidae (Mecoptera, Insecta)". Arthropod Structure & Development. 41 (2): 187–198. doi:10.1016/j.asd.2011.11.001.
LIU, NAN; Zhao, Yunyun; REN, DONG (2010-04-07). "Two new fossil species of Itaphlebia (Mecoptera: Nannochoristidae) from Jiulongshan Formation, Inner Mongolia, China". Zootaxa. 2420 (1): 37. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.2420.1.3. ISSN 1175-5334.
Melzer, R. R.; H. F. Paulus & N. P. Kristensen (1994). "The larval eye of nannochoristid scorpionflies (Insecta, Mecoptera)". Acta Zoologica. 75 (3): 201–208. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6395.1994.tb01207.x.
Whiting, Michael F.; Whiting, Alison S.; Hastriter, Michael W.; Dittmar, Katharina (2008). "A molecular phylogeny of fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera): origins and host associations". Cladistics. 24 (5): 677–707. CiteSeerX doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2008.00211.x. S2CID 33808144.
Yeates, David K.; Wiegmann, Brian. "Endopterygota Insects with complete metamorphosis". Tree of Life. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
Whiting, Michael F. (2002). "Mecoptera is paraphyletic: multiple genes and phylogeny of Mecoptera and Siphonaptera". Zoologica Scripta. 31 (1): 93–104. doi:10.1046/j.0300-3256.2001.00095.x. S2CID 56100681. Archived from the original on 2013-01-05.
Wiegmann, Brian; Yeates, David K. (2012). The Evolutionary Biology of Flies. Columbia University Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-231-50170-5.
Cao, Yizi; Lin, Xiaodan; Shih, Chungkun; Ren, Dong (2022-06-24). "Two new species of Itaphlebia (Insecta, Mecoptera, Nannochoristidae) from the late Middle Jurassic of China". ZooKeys. 1108: 175–188. doi:10.3897/zookeys.1108.85378. ISSN 1313-2970.

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