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Karl Kjer taxon links Phylogenetic position of group is uncertain[down<--]Sericostomatoidea Interpreting the tree
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Tree modified from the analyses of Johanson et al., 2009.
Containing group: Sericostomatoidea


Ross (1967) established the subfamily Conoesucinae within the Sericostomatidae for Australasian genera with “atrophied” scutal warts, but he did not name the included genera or offer any other diagnosis. Later, Neboiss (1977) elevated the subfamily to family status, provided a detailed diagnosis, and included 6 Australasian genera in the family, all formerly included in the Sericostomatidae. Additional sericostomatid genera have been transferred to Conoesucidae such that the family now contains a dozen genera and ca. 40 species, endemic to either southeastern Australia and Tasmania (Coenoria Mosely, Conoesucus Mosely, Costora Mosely, Hampa Mosely, Lingora Mosely, Matasia Mosely) or New Zealand (Beraeoptera Mosely, Confluens Wise, Olinga McLachlan, Periwinkla McFarlane, Pycnocentria McLachlan, Pycnocentrodes Tillyard). (From Holzenthal et al., 2007a)


The larvae live in small, cool, fast-flowing streams where they feed on leaf litter detritus, algae, and moss. Their cases are made of sand, small rocks, plant parts, or silk; cases are tubular and only slightly curved. Adult males have shortened, membranous maxillary palps that are held out in front of the face. Ward (1995) reported that adults of a New Zealand species of Pycnocentria were common and active during hot summer days on streamside sedges, herbs, and grasses. (From Holzenthal et al., 2007a)

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

Holzenthal et al. (2007b) strongly place the Coneosucidae within the Sericostomatoidea, but did not find strong evidence for its relative placement within the group.  The monophyly, and the relationships among genera were examined by Johanson et al. (2009). 


Holzenthal R.W., Blahnik, R.J., Prather, A.L., and Kjer K.M. 2007a. Order Trichoptera Kirby 1813 (Insecta), Caddisflies. In: Zhang, Z.-Q., and Shear, W.A. (Eds). 2007 Linneaus Tercentenary: Progress in Invertebrate Taxonomy. Zootaxa. 58 pp. 1668:639-698

Holzenthal R.W., Blahnik, R.J., Kjer K.M and Prather, A.L. 2007b. An update on the phylogeny of Caddisflies (Trichoptera). Proceedings of the XIIth International Symposium on Trichoptera. Bueno-Soria, R. Barba-Alvearz and B. Armitage (Eds). pp. 143-153. The Caddis Press.

Johanson, K-A., Kjer, K.M., and Malm, T. (2009) Testing the monophyly of the New Zealand and Australian endemic family Conoesucidae Ross based on combined molecular and morphological data (Insecta: Trichoptera: Sericostomatoidea). Zoologica Scripta. 38: 563 - 573.

Neboiss, A. (1977) A taxonomic and zoogeographic study of Tasmanian caddis flies (Insecta: Trichoptera). Memoirs of the National Museum of Victoria, 38, 1208, plates 13.

Ross, H.H. (1967) The evolution and past dispersal of the Trichoptera. Annual Review of Entomology, 12, 169206.

Ward, J.B. (1995) Nine new species of New Zealand caddis (Trichoptera). New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 22, 91103.

About This Page

Karl Kjer
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Karl Kjer at

Page: Tree of Life Conoesucidae. Authored by Karl Kjer. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Kjer, Karl. 2010. Conoesucidae. Version 20 July 2010 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Conoesucidae/14634/2010.07.20 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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