What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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Large family, widely distributed in the cooler regions of Palearctic and Nearctic from which about 130 genera with more than 1000 species are recorded. In Australia, only one genus with 3 species is known, restricted to the South-East, including Tas.


To this family belong some of the largest Australian species with wing span 25-40 mm; wings broad, yellowish brown, without distinct pattern. Ocelli present. Maxillary palps 3-segmented in male, 5-segmented in female, slightly pubescent; labial palps small. Antennae as long as, or slightly shorter than fore wing, basal segment enlarged. Mesoscutum with pair of small setal warts (Australian species); scutellum with either pair of separate or one continuous mesal wart. Fore wing with discoidal cell closed; median cell absent; anal veins fused; hind wing usually broader than fore wing. Tibial spurs 1:2:2 (Australian species); tibiae and tarsi usually armed with several rows of strong dark spines.

Larval head with antennae midway between eye and anterolateral margin of head capsule. Prosternal horn present; mesonotal sclerites usually not subdivided; metanotum with 2 or 3 pairs of small sclerites. Abdominal gills branched; lateral fringe present; row of bifid spicules above lateral fringe on most abdominal segments but absent from segment 8. Larval case tubular, constructed of combinations of plant and mineral materials. All Australian species are found in small to medium-sized, fast-flowing, montane streams; larvae feed on detritus and fine organic particles.