Gwynne, Darryl T. Department of Biology, University of Toronto, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
Fourtner, Charles R. Department of Biological Science, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York.
Last reviewed:January 2021
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A taxonomic order of insects comprising the cockroaches and termites. The order Blattodea, also referred to as Blattaria, contains at least 4500 species of cockroaches (Fig. 1) and 3000 species of termites. Previously, termites were assigned to a separate order known as Isoptera. However, using genomic and molecular analyses, entomologists have determined that termites are roaches that display a high level of social organization (unlike common cockroaches, which are more solitary and engage in limited social activity). Thus, the termite order has been discontinued, with the termites being merged into the order Blattodea. In addition, the members of the order Blattodea are grouped with the mantids of the order Mantodea to form the superorder Dictyoptera. See also: Insecta; Mantodea; Social insects; Termite
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