Zoraptera


Zoraptera

Taxobox
name = Zoropterans
fossil_range=Cretaceous to Recent



regnum = Animalia
phylum = Arthropoda
subphylum = Hexapoda
classis = Insecta
subclassis = Pterygota
ordo = Zoraptera
ordo_authority = Silvestri, 1913
familia = Zorotypidae
familia_authority = Silvestri, 1913
genus = "Zorotypus"
genus_authority = Silvestri, 1913
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = "Zorotypus acanthothorax" Engel & Grimaldi
"Zorotypus amazonensis" Rafael & Engel
"Zorotypus barberi" Gurney
"Zorotypus brasiliensis" Silvestri
"Zorotypus buxtoni" Karny
"Zorotypus caudelli" Karny
"Zorotypus ceylonicus" Silvestri
"Zorotypus congensis" Ryn-Tournel
"Zorotypus cramptoni" Gurney
"Zorotypus cretatus" Engel & Grimaldi
"Zorotypus delamarei" Paulian
"Zorotypus goeleti" Engel & Grimaldi
"Zorotypus guineensis" Silvestri
"Zorotypus gurneyi" Choe
"Zorotypus hamiltoni" New
"Zorotypus hubbardi" Caudell
"Zorotypus huxleyi" Bolivar & Coronado
"Zorotypus javanicus" Silvestri
"Zorotypus juninensis" Engel
"Zorotypus lawrencei" New
"Zorotypus leleupi" Weidner
"Zorotypus longicercatus" Caudell
"Zorotypus manni" Caudell
"Zorotypus medoensis" Hwang
"Zorotypus mexicanus" Bolivar
"Zorotypus nascimbenei" Engel & Grimaldi
"Zorotypus neotropicus" Silvestri
"Zorotypus newi" (Chao & Chen)
"Zorotypus philippinensis" Gurney
"Zorotypus shannoni" Gurney
"Zorotypus silvestrii" Karny
"Zorotypus sinensis" Hwang
"Zorotypus snyderi" Caudell
"Zorotypus swezeyi" Caudell
"Zorotypus weidneri" New
"Zorotypus vinsoni" Paulian
"Zorotypus zimmermani" Gurney
The insect order Zoraptera contains one family (Zorotypidae) which in turn contains one extant genus, "Zorotypus", though an extinct animal of the Cretaceous era is classified as "Xenozorotypus burmiticus" within the same family.

Commonly called zorapterans, the members of this order are small (3 mm or less) insects that resemble termites (Order Isoptera) in appearance and in their gregarious behavior, although related to the webspinners (Order Embioptera). About thirty species are found world-wide. They live in small colonies beneath rotting wood, eating fungal spores and detritus. The name Zoraptera comes from the Greek words "zor" meaning pure and "a-ptera" meaning wingless. Zorapterans spend a lot of time grooming each other or themselves. When members are isolated from a colony, they do not survive for long. They however seem to have an ability to disperse widely and are present in isolated islands such as Christmas Island, Fiji and Hawaii.

Although zorapterans have four wings, both sexes have winged and wingless forms, with the wingless forms lacking eyes. Under good conditions it is the blind and wingless form that dominates, but if their surroundings become too tough, they produce offspring which develop into winged adults with eyes. The wings are paddle shaped and have reduced venation and a basal fracture similar to that in termites.

This form is used as a way to spread to new places where they can live. They typically have 9-segmented, moniliform antennae. Another characteristic feature is the expanded hind femora bearing stout spines on their ventral surface. There are only two tarsomeres with the basitarsus reduced.

References

*cite book|author=Grimaldi, D. and Engel, M.S. |title=Evolution of the Insects|year=2005|publisher=Cambridge University Press|id=ISBN 0-521-82149-5
*Engel, M.S. & D.A. Grimaldi (2002) The first Mesozoic Zoraptera (Insecta). "American Museum Novitates" 3362: 1-20.
*Rafael, J.A. & M.S. Engel (2006) A new species of "Zorotypus" from Central Amazonia, Brazil (Zoraptera: Zorotypidae). "American Museum Novitates" 3528: 1-11.
* Silvestri, F. (1913) Descrizione di un nuovo ordine di insetti. Bol. Lab. Zool. Gen. Agric. Portici 7, 193–209.

External links

* [http://www.famu.org/zoraptera/ Zoraptera database]


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