Order Embioptera: The Webspinners

Of all the insects that we have discussed, it should already be clear that they are indeed small wonders of the world. Most of them are capable of flying, detecting predators and prey even with the absence of their eyes, and could thrive in places with extreme weather. But we are not done with them yet. There are still numerous insects to be tackled, and one of them is the insects from the order Embioptera.

We commonly know them as webspinners. Insects under the order Embioptera are not famous for peculiar and distinct physical traits. Their size ranges from 1.5-2.0mm, and their color vary and dependent on the type of specie. Their elongated body is apt for their habitat which is long and narrow silk chambers. The thorax is smaller and narrower compared to the second and third segment, and this is also where their wings are attached. Its wings have visible chambers filled with hemolymph where blood can flow. Embioptera therefore possess a hemolymphatic circulatory system.

Embioptera males vs. females

Webspinner male and female

If we can identify the gender of mosquitoes by their eating habits, insects under order Embioptera also have their unique distinction of males and females of their kind. Female webspinners are wingless compared whilst male webspinners are equipped with wings. So, yes, females are void of flying, but their mouthparts, compound eyes, and legs are identical.

The attitudes of female webspinners from male webspinners also differ. The males are quite independent: leaving their silk chambers as soon as they reach maturity. The female then stays under the same roof where they were born. The funny thing about this is that even winged webspinners are not capable of flying too far, so they end up in the same place, and mate with their female relatives.

It is also important to emphasize that male webspinners do not eat, so they are the first ones to die because of starvation. Female webspinners, on the other hand, are herbivorous and survive by eating on plant parts such as leaves and soft roots.

Webspinners life cycle

Like any other insects, all webspinners pass through the egg-nymph-adult stages of development. A female webspinner lays her eggs and build their own colony, and then these eggs will be nursed by their mother until maturity. They then become nymphs and undergo moulting for three to five instars until they are full-grown adults.

Embioptera’s distinct characteristics

Like what we have stated earlier, insects are small wonders of the world. And one of the reasons why we give them this brand is that they are often self-sufficient. Insects under Embioptera, for example, live in silk chambers which they themselves produce. They secrete silk through their legs (particularly on its forelimbs) which is obviously enlarged compared to its other body parts if you examine it under a microscope. The silk chambers that they create are collectively called as galleries.

Webspinners are good actors

The predator of webspinners includes centipedes and other anthropods which are larger in size compared to them. In times of trouble, or whenever they sense the presence of their predators, webspinners pretend that they are lifeless so they could not be harmed. Their galleries are also a good hide-out for them for these could hide them from danger.

Webspinners are indeed spectacular. They possess so many things that most living creature have to live without. Indeed, all creatures are wonderfully made, including them.

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