Zoraptera

Zoraptera are minute insects 4 millimetres or less long. There is only one family and it contains 34 known species. 

Zoraptera occur in colonies under tree bark or stones and in rotting wood. They are not truly social, however, individuals do groom each other and this may serve an “antibiotic” function necessary for survival.

They have mandibular mouth parts that they use to feed on fungal spores and arthropod detritus.

Zoraptera have species both with and without wings.

Winged forms
  • have two pairs of membranous and almost vein-less wings 
  • have compound eyes
Wingless forms
  • have a superficial resemblance to termites  
  • are usually without eyes
  • have long antennae
About the name

The Zoraptera were named before winged forms were discovered: zor meaning 'pure' and aptera meaning 'wingless'.