What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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This family, known only from eastern mainland Australia and Tas., is the only peculiarly Australian element of the order. A . rileyi and A . incompta are found in leaf litter in savanna zones of north Qld. Metoligotoma is a large complex of closely related species and races with robust apterous males similar in appearance to those of Australembia , but having 2 hind basitarsal papillae, normal palps, and usually a soft, transverse submentum. All species live in leaf litter, and range from the central Qld coast southward into Tas. Most occur east of the Great Dividing Range, and one species has been found above 2000 m in the Australian Alps.


Both males and females are entirely apterous. The most important family character is the semi-detached, triangular, ventral lobe of the right caudal margin of S9 in the male. The male cranial and mouth-part anatomy is also unusual. The left cercus of the male is always 1-segmented, and the rudiment of the terminal segment is not projected as a lobe as in Notoligotoma . Australembia (2 spp.) have only one hind basitarsal papilla, and the males have massive maxillary palps and a peculiar, elongate submentum.

  • Metoligotoma sp.,  male

  • Australembia sp.

  • Metoligotoma sp., of reducta complex, male