Web-spinners Facts

Web-spinners Facts
Web-spinners are type of insects that are able to produce silk. There are more than 300 species of web-spinners that can be found all over the world, except on the Antarctica. Most species of web-spinners live in tropical rainforests. They can be usually found under the leaves, moss, bark, rocks or under the ground. Web-spinners are very old group of animals. They appeared on the Earth during Jurassic period. Web-spinners are numerous in the wild. There are no endangered species of web-spinners.
Interesting Web-spinners Facts:
Web-spinners can reach from 0.059 to 0.079 inches in length.
Certain species of web-spinners are brightly colored (pink or reddish), but most species are brown or black.
Males and females can be distinguished via several morphological features. Females have cylindrical body and they are always wingless. Males have flattened body and wings (rare species are wingless).
Web-spinners have thin and linear antennas divided in 15 to 32 segments, depending on the species. Antennas are used as sensory organ.
Web-spinners have compound eyes (they consist of huge number of individual lenses). Eyes are oval or kidney-shaped.
Web-spinners have enlarged front legs that are equipped with silk glands. These glands produce silk which is used for the spinning of tunnels where these insects spend lives.
Web-spinners are herbivores (plant eaters). Their diet includes moss, lichen, decaying leaves and bark. Only females and nymphs eat. Adult males do not eat during their life.
Web-spinners are nocturnal creatures (active during the night).
Web-spinners are pretending to be dead when they are threatened. When that strategy fails, they run in reverse as fast as possible. Web-spinners are able to run this way thanks to well developed leg muscles.
Web-spinners hide under the ground during cold periods of the year (species that can be found in temperate regions of the world).
Web-spinners live in tunnels (galleries) made of silk. They often use leaves to camouflage them from the outside. Galleries provide optimal temperature, humidity, food, protection from the predators, and place to mate and lay eggs.
Female builds gallery made of silk for herself and her offspring. Nymphs are also able to produce silk and to aid in the expansion of tunnels. Web-spinners are not social insects, but they are gregarious. They tolerate other web-spinners and allow them to use tunnels.
Males enter the tunnels only to mate with females. Female lays eggs, gathers them in clusters and arrange on the lateral sides of the tunnels. She takes care of the eggs and nymphs. In the case that males are not available, females are able to produce new generation of web-spinners asexually. This phenomenon is called parthenogenesis.
Web-spinners are hemimetabolous insects. That means that web-spinners undergo three developmental stages: egg, nymph and adult insect. Nymph molts 4 times before it reaches the adulthood.
Lifespan of the web-spinners is unknown.

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