Embiidina are endemic to all continental landmasses presently in tropical latitudes. The principal evolutionary centers, in order of importance are Africa, the Americas, tropical Asia, and Australia. There also are natural extensions into adjacent temperate regions, such as southern United States and Europe. Several species, particularly of the Asian family Oligotomidae, have widely spread in both ancient and modern commerce and are the most frequently collected species of the order (males are attracted to lights).

Recent extensive, worldwide collecting by Ross has greatly increased the number of known taxa, but most await descriptions now in progress.

The most generalized species (family Clothodidae) occur in tropical South America. The large, diverse family Embiidae comprises a number of subfamilies found in South America, Africa and adjacent Palearctic regions, and Asia as far east as Myanmar. Southeastern Asia and Australia have the peculiar families Embonychidae and Notoligotomidae, and others soon to be described in the literature.

Anisembiidae are confined to the New World tropics and adjacent warm regions. The peculiar family Australembiidae is restricted to the eastern portion of Australia. The Oligotomidae occur almost entirely in tropical Asia and Australia. The large family Teratembiidae is mostly Neotropical and Afrotropical; only a few of its species occur in tropical Asia.

See Also the Following Articles

Phasmida • Silk Production

Further Reading

Ross, E. S. (1970). Biosystematics of the Embioptera. Annu. Rev. Entomol. 15, 157-171.

Ross, E. S. (2000). EMBIA. Contributions to the biosystematics of the insect order Embiidina. 1: Origin, relationships and integumental anatomy of the insect order Embiidina. Occas. Pap. Calif. Acad. Sci. 149, 1-53.

Ross, E. S. (2000). EMBIA. Contributions to the biosystematics of the insect order Embiidina. 2: A review of the biology of the Embiidina. Occas. Pap. Calif. Acad. Sci. 149, 1-36.

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