Webspinners (Embiidina)

Greek "embio" (lively) + "ptera" (wings)
Webspinners are in the order Embiidina, also called Embioptera and they are largely found in the tropics. They are small, and reclusive. Unlike any other insect, webspinners have silk-producing glands in their fore legs. With the silk, they build nests and tunnels under leaves and bark, and spend nearly all their time here, feeding on plant matter. Webspinners are small, with a long and slender shape. Only the males have wings - the females are wingless. They can run forward or backwards through their tunnels.


Quick ID

  • rarely seen, reclusive
  • live in silk tunnels

More information about Webspinners

University of California, Berkeley    Berkeley Natural History Museums
Copyright © 1995-2010 UC Regents. All Rights Reserved.
Last updated: Jan 3, 2017