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

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The family is restricted to the South-West Pacific-Australian region, where it is widespread in New Zealand, eastern mainland Australia and Tas. There are 13 genera with more than 30 species of which 6 genera with 21 species are recorded from Australia.


Adults small to medium sized with wing span 10-25mm, blackish brown to black, usually found amongst vegetation on the banks of fast-flowing, small to medium-sized streams. Ocelli absent. Maxillary palps of males 1-3-segmented, often partly or entirely membranous, held upright in front of face; in females maxillary palps 5-segmented. Antennae stout, about as long as, or slightly shorter than fore wing, basal segment long. Pronotum with pair of transverse, elongate setal warts; mesoscutum without setal warts, but with deep anteromesal fissure; scutellum with pair of setal warts. Both wings about equal in width, elongate ovoid; jugal lobe well developed; discoidal cell present, venation sexually dimorphic. Tibial spurs 2:2:2-4.
Larval head with antennae usually situated close to anterior margin of head, not further back than midway between eye and anterior margin; ventral apotome quadrate, posterolateral margins indistinct. Mesonotum almost entirely covered with sclerites; metanotum with one or 2 pairs of small sclerites, anteromesal setal area with no more than 2 setae. Abdominal segment 1 with dorsal hump reduced; gills present or absent; lateral fringe absent; segment 8 with lateral row of bifid spicules; segment 9 with dorsal sclerite; anal claw with small, accessory hook. Larvae construct cylindrical, only slightly curved, tube-cases of small stones, sand grains and plant material or silk. Larvae live in fast-flowing, clear streams, and feed on algae, moss and other plants or plant detritus.