Common name(s): Zorapterans
Description: Small (less than 3mm in size), termite-like. Hypognathous mouthparts. Winged species have compound eyes and ocelli, while wingless species lack either. The wings of winged species have simple venation and the wings are readily shed, as can occur in ants and termites. Moniliform antennae are 9-segmented. Coxae are well-developed. The short and 'swollen' abdomen is 11-segmented. Cerci are only one segment. Immature nymph stages resemble the adults.
Fun facts: Zorapterans are quite rare. There is a single genus, Zorotypus, which consists of some 30 orders found worldwide in tropical and warm temperate areas (except in Australia). Male genitalia is asymmetrical.
Zorapterans are gregarious, occurring in leaf litter, rotting wood or near termite colonies, eating fungi and some small arthropods.
Zoraptera are phylogenetically enigmatic. There is a probable relationship to the Orthopteroid-Plecopteroid assemblage, or to the Hemipteroid orders.
sourced, in part, by The Insects: An outline of entomology, second ed. Gullan, P.J. and P.S. Cranston. Blackwell Science, Great Britain, 2000.