Web-spinners

Order: Embioptera

These small (up to 15mm) insects are uncommonly encountered. Three families, containing 26 species occur in Australia. Males usually with two pairs of membranous wings, the forewings larger than the hindwings, while females are wingless. Males also have have short cerci of differing lengths. Body elongated and tube-like, with three pairs of legs, the front pair facing forwards and the other two pairs rearward. The characteristic boxing glove-like bulbous tarsi of front legs are used to produce silk. Females form small colonies with other females and combined offspring of recent matings, concealed within silk tunnels.