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


Major Group: Insecta
Order: Trichoptera
Family: Limnephilidae
Genus: Archaeophylax
This family is represented in Australia by a single genus, Archaeophylax Kimmins.

Descriptive Features:

  • head with eyes protruding
  • antennae located midway between eye and anterolateral corner of head capsule
  • pronotum and mesonotum sclerotised, although sclerites on mesothorax not covering whole segment
  • metanotum with 2 or 3 pairs of small sclerites
  • prosternal horn present
  • thoracic legs approximately equal in length
  • abdominal segment 1 with relatively small dorsal protuberance and well developed lateral protuberances
  • venter heavily setose
  • dorsum with numerous setae, either restricted to 2 pairs of small sclerites or more usually dispersed across the segment and associated with smaller areas of sclerotization
  • abdominal gills present
  • lateral fringe of short setae on abdominal segments 2 -8
  • segment 8 without a lateral row of bifid spicules
  • anal claw with a single dorsal accessory tooth
  • Total length: up to 20 mm
  • Case: Cylindrical, variously constructed, consisting solely of mineral particles or solely of plant material or various combinations of the two. When constructed of vegetable matter, the case can be neat and compact, or untidy with numerous trailing fragments or streamers of plant material.

    Archaeophylax sp.

    Taxonomic Checklist: Species
    Archaeophylax canarus Neboiss
    Archaeophylax ochreus Mosely
    Archaeophylax vernalis Neboiss (larva unknown)

    Distribution: NSW, Vic, Tas

    Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 8

    Functional Feeding Group: shredders, gathering collectors


    Murray River, Jingellic Vic

    Ecology: Instream habitat: Archaeophylax ochreus is generally found in small alpine and subalpine streams, while Archaeophylax canarus occurs in foothill and lowland streams, including temporary streams, and has also been recorded from farm dams.
    Feeding ecology: Generally limnephilid larvae are detritivores feeding on plant matter but Archaeophylax canarus can also be an opportunistic carnivore, capable of feeding on prey half its size.
    Habit: Larvae construct tubular cases from a combination of plant and mineral materials.
    Life history:


    Information Sources: Dean 2000, Dean et al 2004, Neboiss 2003, Hawking & Smith 1997, Gooderham & Tsyrlin 2002
    Key to Species: Dean 2000