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Embioptera ~ Webspinners

The members of this order resemble dark colored termites or ants but are not related. They are rarely noticed.

Webspinners have chewing mouthparts; females and larvae are scavengers on dead plant matter. Males do not feed.

Only the males have wings, and they are sometimes seen when they fly to lights. The four wings are equal in size and the male can fold them at all angles in order to travel both forward and backward in the silken tunnels where the insects live.

Embiopterans develop through incomplete, or simple, metamorphosis: larvae look similar to adults. These insects produce web tunnels in leaf litter and under rocks and adults live alongside larvae at all stages.

Size is small.

Identification to the order level can be considered admirable.

These are the Families of Embioptera (webspinners) likely to be encountered in Austin, Texas:


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