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 Major Groups | Insecta (insects) | Diptera (true flies) | Thaumaleidae


Major Group: Insecta
Subfamily: none

Descriptive Features:

  • prothoracic spiracles on a short respiratory tube
  • truncated head ventrally directed
  • unpaired prolegs present
  • head capsule complete, not retractile into thorax
  • mandibles usually with several teeth
  • abdomen 9-segmented
  • Total length:
    • Taxonomic Checklist: Genera
      26 species
            (1 undescribed species)
      Niphta 3 species

      Distribution: WA, NSW, ACT, Qld, Vic, Tas. This family is endemic.

      Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 7. Larvae are intolerant of elevated temperatures.

      Functional Feeding Group: scrapers


      Fitzroy Falls, NSW

      Ecology: Instream habitat: Thaumaleid larvae are predominantly hygropetric, living in vertical, thin water films alongside waterfalls and torrents, avoiding the main flow. They are intolerant of elevated temperatures and so are usually found in fully shaded areas.
      Feeding ecology: Larvae are scrapers grazing on diatoms.
      Habit: The larval dorsal integument is hydrophobic which allows the water to wash over them, enabling them to maintain position in the water film. Pupae have abdominal hooks to secure themselves to the substrate.
      Life history: Larvae are most commonly encountered during summer. The pupal stage lasts for approximately 10-20 days.


      Information Sources: Sinclair 2008, Bugledich 1999, Sinclair 2000a, Cranston 1995, Evenhius 1997
      Key to Genera: Sinclair 2000a
      Key to Species: none