The Embioptera are commonly known as webspinners due to glands in their legs that produce silk.

Webspinners are a group of 360 species found in the tropics and subtropics of all continents except Antarctica. 

Webspinners are the only group of insects with silk glands on their legs, and use them to construct nests and tunnels that they rarely leave.

They feed on a variety of vegetable material including:
  • grass
  • dead leaves
  • moss
  • lichens
  • bark

Nymphs and adults are similar in appearance but only adult males have wings (except in the Australembiide). 

About the name

Embioptera comes from the Greek embios meaning 'lively' and pteron meaning 'wing', which is not very descriptive since only the males have wings.