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Grylloblattaria (Rock Crawlers)

I. Background information


Grylloblattaria (Rock Crawlers) Grylloblattaria - Brigham Young/VPI &SU PCD0330028

A. Origin of name

  1. gryllo, relating to crickets, blattaria, relating to cockroaches

B. Classification

  1. Suborders - None
  2. America north of Mexico - 1 family, 1 genus, 13 species
  3. World - 1 families, 3 genera, 20 species
  4. Estimate of undescribe species - ?%

C. Common names - Rock Crawlers

D. Type of metamorphosis - Paurometabolous

E. Phylogenetic relationships

  1. Primitive pterygote related to Orthoptera, Blattaria
  2. Thought to be living remnant of an extinct order, Protorthoptera or a primitive subfamily of the Orthoptera.

II. Morphological characteristics

A. Wingless

B. 8-9 segmented cerci

C. Compound eyes small or absent

D. Body leathery

E. Abdmen oval and cylindrical

F. Antennae with 23-40 segments

III. Biological summary for the order

A. Life history

  1. Eggs
  2. Nymphs - 8 instars (last instar pure white)
  3. Adults
  4. Require several years to mature.

B. Habitat

  1. Close association with montane ice fields
  2. Nocturnal, hiding in cold wet gravel or under snow
  3. High altitudes - 3,500 - >10,000 ft.
  4. Some species inhabit caves

C. Habits (mode of existence)

  1. Feed on debris of insects that have died on snow fields at high altitudes.

D. Collecting and preserving

  1. Hand collected
  2. 80% alcohol

E. Behavior

  1. Primarily nocturnal
  2. Cracks in rocks during warm periods

F. Significance

  1. Economic - None
  2. Ecological - Unknown

Insect Identification and Diagnosis Request

For the identification of insects and mites, contact a local Virginia Cooperative Extension office, or find information about offices in your state.