Insect identification > Embiidina


EmbiidinaThis is a small group of insects, only about 60 species having been described. They live in warm climates either under stones or on plants in crevices of the bark or elsewhere, spinning silken tunnels in which to live. The largest species known is less than an inch long.

The wings are generally (always?) present in the males and absent in the females. The tunnels appear to be formed at least partly for protection, but perhaps also to aid in preserving moisture, for when dry weather comes on they are carried deeper into the soil in the ground inhabiting forms. The silk appears to be produced by glands located in the tarsi of the forelegs - something unparalleled elsewhere among insects. The mouth-parts are of the chewing type.

The food of these insects is probably vegetable matter, but the injury they do to plants, as thus far reported, is not great. Even where they are most abundant, they are seldom seen except by those looking for them. A few fossil specimens belonging to this group have been found preserved in amber.

The embiids appear to be more closely related to the Plecoptera than to any of the other orders of insects.