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 Major Groups | Insecta (insects) | Trichoptera (caddisflies) | Helicophidae
 

Helicophidae

Major Group: Insecta
Order: Trichoptera
Family: Helicophidae 

Descriptive Features:

  • antennae minute, may be positioned near the eye, between eye and anterior margin of head, or near anterior margin
  • ventral apotome triangular, often unpigmented in posterior half, genae abutting at occipital margin
  • pronotum strongly sclerotised, without large acute projections at the anterolateral margins
  • mesonotum fully but weakly sclerotized
  • metanotum largely unsclerotized and unpigmented
  • abdominal gills absent in all but 3 species (name)
  • lateral fringe of setae absent
  • Total length: 6 - 14 mm
  • Case: Varied, constructed of sand, plant material, secretion or mixed materials.
  • Taxonomic Checklist: Genera
    Alloecella
    Helicopha
    (larva unknown)
    Heloccabus 

    Distribution: Qld, NSW, Vic, Tas

    Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 10

    Functional Feeding Group: shredders

    Ecology:
    Instream habitat: These larvae occur in the littoral areas of streams with slow flow, on logs, leaf packs and plant roots. A small number of undescribed genera have been collected from muddy runnels in a swampy alpine area.
    Feeding ecology: Generally larvae are detritivores eating leaves and wood. A species of Tasmasia was found to also feed on small amounts of algae. Caenota plicata feeds on eucalyptus leaves.
    Habit:Larvae construct slightly curved tube cases entirely of silk or from sand grains or pieces of plant detritus. All cases have a posterior silken closure. Some larvae may be very cryptic e.g. fragments of moss and liverwort are included in construction of the cases of species living in mossy streams.
    Life history: The whole life cycle may last from one to three years. For those species with longer life cycles, the larval phase is about 20 months long. Pupation can take place in August-September or January to February. Adults may emerge in spring or in late summer.

     
     
    Information Sources: Kallsen & Johanson 2010, Jackson 1998, Dean et al 2004, Neboiss 2003, Dean & Cartwright 1987
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