Classification and Lineage


Domain - Eukarya (Greek "eu" meaning "true" and "karyos" meaning "kernel"): unlike Prokarya, these organisms have membrane-bound organelles, such as a nucleus, within their cell(s).
Kingdom – Animalia (Latin "anima" meaning "breath" or "soul"): these organisms are all eukaryotes, all are motile (capable of movement,) and all are heterotrophic (cannot synthesize their own food and must ingest it in some way.)

Phylum – Arthropoda (Greek "arthron" meaning "joint" and "podos" meaning "foot"): these animals have jointed appendages, chitinous (chitin is a nitrogenous polysaccharide) exoskeletons, segmented body parts (often fused into groups called tagmata,) and compound eyes.  These organisms comprise more than three quarters of all known extant (living) animals!

Subphylum – Hexopoda (Greek "hexa" meaning "six" and "podos" meaning "foot"): Arthropods in this subphylum have three pair of legs (for a total of six,) one pair of antennae,  and distinct tagmata (head, thorax, and abdomen.)

Class – Insecta (Latin "insectum" meaning "to cut into"): these organisms are the largest and most diverse group within phylum Arthropoda.  All are distinct from their sister class Entognatha in that their mouthparts are ectognathus, or outside the head, rather than entognathus, or inside the head.

Subclass – Dicondylia (aka Apterygota)(Greek "di" meaning two and "kondylos" meaning "knuckle"): these insects display a mandible or jaw connected to the head by two articulating condyles (bony portrusions.)

Order – Thysanura (aka Zygentoma)(Greek "thysanos" meaning "tassel" and "oura" meaning "tail" - nickname "bristletails"): organisms in this order have reduced compound eyes and two to three caudal filaments (tail-like processes at the rear.)  Unlike other organisms in class Insetca, the organisms classified here do not have wings.

Family – Lepismatidae (Greek "lepizein" meaning "to peel, " from "lepos" meaning "rind" or "scale"): the organisms in this family are characterized by scaled abdomens which terminate in three cerci (tails.) Aside from Thermobia, the other well-known genus of the family is Lepisma or the Silverfish.

Genus – Thermobia (Greek "thermos" meaning "hot" or "heat"): this genus apparently contains only two known species; Thermobia aegyptiaca and Thermobia domestica, which look indistinguishable from one another.  The only morphological differences between this genus and other of the family Lepismatidae seem to be the length of antennae (which are much longer in Thermobia) and the different patterns and coloration of scales on the body.

Species - Thermobia domestica (Greek "thermos" meaning "hot" or "heat" and Latin "domus" meaning "house"): these organisms are found in hot, moderately dry situations, have antennae which are greater length than the body cavity, and have a distinctive brown and patchy color pattern to their scales.  Along with the Silverfish (Lepisma) it is one of the most common and well-known organisms in the Thysanuran order.

(Integrated Taxonomic Information System 2012)(Hickman et al. 2009)


Cellular - Eukarya - Opisthokonta - Metazoa - Eumetazoa - Bilateria - Coelomata - Protostomia - Panarthropoda - Arthropoda - Mandibulata - Pancrustacea - Hexapoda - Insecta - Dicondylia - Thysanura - Lapismatidae - Thermobia  (National Center for Biotechnology Information 2012)

University of Madison Entomology website has further information.