1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hemimerus

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

HEMIMERUS, an Orthopterous or Dermapterous insect, the sole representative of the family Hemimeridae, which has affinities with both the Forficulidae (earwigs) and the Blattidae (cockroaches). Only two species have been discovered, both from West Africa. The better known of these (H. hanseni) lives upon a large rat-like rodent (Cricetomys gambianus) feeding perhaps upon its external parasites, perhaps upon scurf and other dermal products. Like many epizoic or parasitic insects, Hemimerus is wingless, eyeless and has relatively short and strong legs. Correlated also with its mode of life is the curious fact that it is viviparous, the young being born in an advanced stage of growth.