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


Major Group: Insecta
Order: Trichoptera
Family: Atriplectididae
Genus: Atriplectides
This family is represented in Australia by a single genus, Atriplectides Mosely.

Descriptive Features:

  • head small, elongate, ecdysial lines not visible
  • antennae moderately small, situated near anterolateral angles
  • pronotum slender, anterior half with at least 2 pairs of dorsal sclerites, posterior half long and membranous, retractile into mesothorax
  • both mesothorax and metathorax considerably broader than prothorax
  • hindlegs 3 - 4X length of forelegs
  • gills present on abdominal segments 2-7
  • abdominal segments 3-7 with lateral fringe of short, fine setae
  • abdominal segment 8 with lateral row of 12 - 36 small bifid spicules
  • anal claw with single dorsal tooth
  • Total length: 8 - 18 mm
  • Case: Variable, either narrowly tubular, constructed of fine sand with weakly developed longitudinal ridges, or broader, somewhat dorso-ventrally flattened and constructed of coarser sand and fine gravel.

    Atriplectides dubius

    Taxonomic Checklist: Species
    Atriplectides dubius Mosely
    Atriplectides ikmaleus Neboiss

    Distribution: Tas, N Qld, SE Qld, NSW, VIC, SA, S WA, ACT

    Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 7

    Functional Feeding Group: gathering collectors


    Mitta River, Eskdale Vic

    Ecology: Instream habitat: Atriplectides larvae occur in lakes and slow flowing sections of streams. They are found in the benthic sediments.
    Feeding ecology: Larvae are scavenging detritivores feeding on decaying animal and plant material. The long narrow head shape allows Atriplectides to eat the soft flesh inside the bodies of dead animals, with only the effort of cutting a hole large enough for its head. This behaviour gives rise to the common name of ‘vulture caddis’.
    Habit: Larvae make tubular cases of sand grains.
    Life history:


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