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

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The family is restricted to Australasian and Neotropical regions with 6 genera and 8 species, of which 3 genera with 5 species are known from Australia.


Adults are stockily built, medium-sized, with wing span 14-24 mm, dark brown or blackish. Ocelli absent. Maxillary palps 3-segmented in male, 5-segmented in female. Antennae stout, about as long as fore wing. Mouth-parts more or less elongate, sometimes forming a proboscis. Mesoscutum and scutellum each with pair of setal warts. Fore wing vein R 1 joined to Sc basad of pterostigma by short cross-vein or sharp bend; R 2 and R 3 frequently fused; discoidal cell closed; in hind wing R 1 incomplete, terminating before reaching wing margin; discoidal cell open. Tibial spurs 1:4:4 or 2:4:4.

Larval head strongly dome-shaped; antennae rather long, close to anterior margin of head capsule; eyes large, elongate; ventral apotome somewhat triangular, entirely separating genae. Fore- and mid legs similar in form with tibia and tarsus fused into single segment, hind legs long. Thoracic sclerotisations weak. Abdominal segment 1 without dorsal spacing hump but lateral humps prominent; abdominal gills branched; lateral fringe present; segment 8 without lateral row of bifid spicules; anal claws with several accessory hooks. Larvae construct tubular, sand grain cases, somewhat depressed dorso- ventrally, with lateral flanges. Their habitat is sandy substrates in streams and lakes.