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(embiids, web spinners), an order of small insects. The body measures 1–2.2 cm in length and may be various shades of reddish brown. The antennae resemble strands of beads. The mouthparts are of the chewing type. The abdomen ends in two-segmented cerci, which are asymmetrical in males. The legs are short, with three-segmented tarsi. Silk glands are located in the first segments of the anterior feet. The Embioptera move forward and backward with equal speed. The females are always wingless, and in some species the males are as well. Winged males develop by incomplete metamorphosis, while wingless individuals undergo almost direct development, without metamorphosis.
The Embioptera feed mainly on plant material, but they may be predatory. They live under rocks, in soil cracks, and under the bark of trees, in passages lined with silky nets. Many species are social.
The order embraces approximately 150 species, which are distributed in places with climates as warm as mediterranean. The USSR has two species: Haploembia solieri, which is found in the Crimea, the northwestern Caucasus, and Azerbaijan (the parthenogenic form), and Embia tartara, which inhabits Middle Asia.
M. S. GILIAROV