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Order Embiidina - Webspinners

Webspinner sexes compared - Oligotoma nigra - male - female Embioptera male subadult on pomegranate - Oligotoma nigra - male Webspinner - Oligotoma saundersii - male Oligotoma saundersii sd ╬ - Oligotoma nigra Anisembia texana Melander - Anisembia texana Oligotomidae? Embiidina ID request
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Embiidina (Webspinners)
Other Common Names
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Embidae, Burmeister, 1839. As a family of Neuroptera
Embides, Rambur, 1842. As a family of Neuroptera
Embidina, Hagen, 1848. As a family of Neuroptera
Embidina, Hagen, 1885. As family of Orthoptera
Embiopteres, Lameere, 1900. In the form of an order
Embiodea, Kusnezov, 1903. As a suborder of Neuroptera
Embioptera, Shipley, 1904. Zoologischer Anzeiger 27:260. As an order, in an article proposing a standardization of ordinal names of Insects.
Embiaria, Handlirsch, 1904
Adenopoda, Verhoeff, 1904
Oligoneura, Börner, 1904
Embioidea, Handlirsch, 1908
Embidaria, Handlirsch, 1908. As a subclass
Embiidina, Krauss, 1911. As an order
Explanation of Names
Greek embios 'lively', a reference to their ability to run rapidly
11 spp. in 6 genera of 3 families in our area(1), ~380 spp. in ~100 genera of 13 families worldwide(2)
4-20+ mm (our spp. 4-7 mm)(1)
slender, usually brownish insects that may have wings (males) or be wingless (some males and all females); body of male flattened; body of female and immature more cylindrical; tarsi 3-segmented; basal segment of front tarsus greatly enlarged for producing silk from hollow hairs issuing on the basal and middle segments; cerci 2-segmented (but left cercus of some males 1-segmented)
Females of Embioptera are notoriously difficult to identify since they lack wings or full development of other normal adult features. They sort of all look pretty similar. (Kelly B. Miller, Ph.D., pers. comm. to MAQ, 2013)
CA-FL-VA (BG data)
mostly tropical; in our area, so. US
silk galleries are spun under stones and bark, in debris, cracks in soil or bark, among grass roots, lichens, mosses, and epiphytic plants
more numerous during the rainy season
dead plant material plus lichens and mosses found around their galleries
Life Cycle
incomplete metamorphosis; one generation per year
rapid runners, often run backwards; live in colonies (in galleries of spun silk) and exhibit limited maternal care for eggs and young; winged males of some species come to lights