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Temporal range: Triassic–Recent
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Subclass: Pterygota
Infraclass: Neoptera
Superorder: Exopterygota
Order: Grylloblattaria
Suborder: Grylloblattodea
Family: Grylloblattidae
E.M. Walker, 1914

Grylloblattidae is a family of extremophile and wingless insects that live in the cold on top of mountains.[1]

They are commonly called grylloblattids, but are also sometimes called ice crawlers or icebugs.

Most are nocturnal and appear to feed on detritus (rubbish). They have long antennae (23–45 segments) and long cerci (appendages on the rear; 5–8 segments), but no wings.

Their closest living relatives are the recently-discovered Mantophasmatidae.[2]

The family is placed in its own suborder, Grylloblattodea, and sometimes in its own order, Grylloblattaria. It contains 5 genera and 25 species.[3]


  1. H.V. Hoell, J.T. Doyen & A.H. Purcell (1998). Introduction to insect biology and diversity (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 320. ISBN 0-19-510033-6 .
  2. Stephen L. Cameron, Stephen C. Barker & Michael F. Whiting (2006). "Mitochondrial genomics and the new insect order Mantophasmatodea". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 38: 274–279. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.09.020 . PMID 16321547 .
  3. Terry L. Erwin (1997). "Biodiversity at its utmost: tropical forest beetles". In Marjorie L. Reaka-Kudla, Don E. Wilson & Edward O. Wilson. Biodiversity II. Washington, D.C.: Joseph Henry Press. pp. 27–40. ISBN 9780309055840 .