Print This Page

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


Major Group: Insecta
Order: Trichoptera
Family: Glossosomatidae
Genus: Agapetus
This family is represented in Australia by a single genus, Agapetus Curtis.

Descriptive Features:

  • head and pronotum sclerotised
  • meso- and metanotum predominantly membranous, although each with a pair of small sclerites
  • abdominal gills absent
  • large tergite on segment 9
  • abdominal prolegs fused in basal half only, anal claws terminal
  • Total length: 5 - 8 mm
  • Case: Dome-shaped, made of small stones referred to as "saddle cases".

    Agapetus sp.

    Taxonomic Checklist: Species
    (not all larva known)
    Agapetus ablusus Neboiss, 1986
    Agapetus cannensis Wells, 2010
    Agapetus christineae Wells, 2010
    Agapetus cralus (Mosely, 1953)
    Agapetus dayi Ross, 1956
    Agapetus dundungra Wells, 2010
    Agapetus evansi Ross, 1956
    Agapetus kimminsi Ross, 1956
    Agapetus laparus Neboiss, 1977
    Agapetus mittamitta Wells, 2010
    Agapetus monticolus Banks, 1939
    Agapetus mossmanensis Wells, 2010
    Agapetus muelleri Wells, 2010
    Agapetus neboissi Wells, 2010
    Agapetus paluma Wells, 2010
    Agapetus paracralus Wells, 2010
    Agapetus pontona (Mosely, 1953)
    Agapetus sheldoni Wells, 2010
    Agapetus stclairae Wells, 2010
    Agapetus tasmanicus (Mosely, 1953)
    Agapetus tubrabucca Wells, 2010
    Agapetus vicanthicus Neboiss, 1988
    Agapetus zwicki Wells, 2010

    Distribution: Qld, NSW, Vic, Tas

    Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 9

    Functional Feeding Group: scrapers


    Mitta River, Eskdale Vic

    Ecology: Instream habitat: Glossosomatid larvae are found on stones in cool, fast-flowing streams.
    Feeding ecology: Larvae are grazers feeding on algae and fine organic particles.
    Habit: Larvae construct dome-shaped cases of small stones, giving them the common names of ‘saddle-case makers’ or ‘stone dome caddis’.
    Life history: Larvae possibly undergo five instars. Shortly before pupation the larvae removes the flattened ventral part of its case and fastens the dorsal side to the rock. Pupae are enclosed in grayish to brown silk cocoons.Agapetus species are typically univoltine with a five up to ten month life cycle. Adults emerge in autumn to early summer.


    Information Sources: Wells 2010a, Cartwright 1998, Dean et al. 2004, Neboiss 2003, Hawking & Smith 1997, Marchant & Hehir 1999
    Key to Species: Cartwright 1998 (incomplete)