Zoraptera(redirected from Zoraptidae)
an order of insects. They undergo incomplete metamorphosis and are probably related in origin to cockroaches and termites. Length, 2–3 mm. The antennae have nine segments and are moniliform; the gnawing mouthparts point forward. The insects have ambulatory legs with two-segmented tarsa; the cercus is short and has one segment. Wings are usually absent; sometimes winged members can be found in a species (their wings can be discarded, as in termites, by breaking off at the base). There is no ovipositor.
There is one genus, Zorotypus, which comprises about 25 species. They are distributed in the tropics and subtropics; there are none in Europe. Zoraptera live hidden, living under plant remains, in the rotten wood of trees, or under tree bark, often forming large masses. They feed on spores and fungus mycelia, dust of rotten wood, and mites.