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 Major Groups | Insecta (insects) | Plecoptera (stoneflies) | Austroperlidae


Major Group: Insecta
Order: Plecoptera  
Family: Austroperlidae

Descriptive Features:

  • ocelli absent
  • caudal filaments very short
  • antennae long, about as long as thorax plus head 
  • pronotum rectangular, corners often extended to sharp points
  • abdomen cylindrical, dark brown
  • 3 or 5 beaded anal gills
  • anal gills may be partially or fully contracted so that only the tips are visible or none are visible, respectively,
  • gills of Acruroperla atra not usually visible AND dorsal tubercules present on abdominal terga
  • Total length: 1030 mm

    Tasmanoperla thalia

    Taxonomic Checklist: Genera
    Acruroperla atra Amal

    Crypturoperla paradoxa Illies

    Distribution: E Vic, E NSW, E Qld, Tas. All Australian genera are endemic.

    Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 10

    Functional Feeding Group: scrapers


    Watchbed Creek, Rocky Valley Vic

    Ecology: Instream habitat: Austroperlid nymphs generally occur in slow flowing waters. They are found on logs, rocks, under stones or in gravel with leaf packs.
    Feeding ecology: Nymphs are slow moving herbivores and detritivores feeding on rotten wood, detritus, moss or algae.
    Habit: Typically Austroperlidae species burrow into old logs, leaving only the end of the abdomen exposed. Crypturoperla paradoxa is an exception, it is restricted to rocks.
    Life history: Eggs are white with a sticky coating to adhere to the substrata. The full life cycle takes two to three years. Emergence may not be synchronised and can extend over many months.


    Information Sources: Hynes 1989, Theischinger 1991, Yule 1997, Hawking & Smith 1997, Michaelis & Yule 1997
    Key to Genera: Hynes 1989 (Tas, incomplete), Hynes 1978 (Vic, incomplete), Yule 1997 (NSW, NVic)
    Key to Species: Hynes 1989 (Tas, incomplete), Hynes 1978 (Vic, incomplete), Yule 1997 (NSW, NVic)