Author: Jan Scholten
English: Webspinners; Footspinners.
Habitat: mostly tropical and subtropical.
Synonym: Embiodea; Embiidina.
Genera: 400 species; 11 families.
Embioptera have long, flexible bodies, short legs, and only males having wings. They are gregarious, living subsocially in galleries of fine silk which they spin from glands on their forelegs. Members of these colonies are often related females and their offspring; adult males do not feed and die soon after mating. Males of some species have wings and are able to disperse, whereas the females remain near where they were hatched. Newly-mated females may vacate the colony and found a new one nearby. Others may emerge to search for a new food source to which the galleries can be extended, but in general, the insects rarely venture from their galleries.