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

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Plectrotarsidae

Overview

This endemic Australian family contains 3 genera with 5 species and is restricted to south-eastern and south-western mainland Australia and Tas.

Description

Adults small to medium sized; wing span 10-22 mm. Ocelli present. Maxillary palps 3-segmented in male, 5-segmented in female. Antennae stout, about as long as fore wing. Mouth-parts either normal or forming an elongate proboscis. Mesoscutum with 2 parallel bands of setiferous punctures mesally and 2 small groups posteriorly on either side of scutellum; setal warts on scutellum connected mesally, elongate or rounded. Wings broad, rounded apically and densely pubescent; discoidal cell closed, small; hind wing with several strong frenular bristles at base, vein R 1 joins R 2 near wing margin. Tibial spurs 1-2:2-4:4.

Larval head only slightly longer than wide, antenna about midway between eye and anterolateral margin of head capsule; ventral apotome broadly triangular, lateral margins distinctly convex, entirely separating genae. Pronotum short with transverse elliptical bulge; prosternal horn rather small, pale and membranous; meso- and metanota each with 3 pairs of sclerites, those on metanotum rather indistinct; legs stout. Abdominal gills single or branched; lateral fringe present; segment 8 without lateral row of bifid spicules, segment 9 with dorsal sclerite; anal claws with 2 accessory hooks. Larvae construct rather untidy tubular cases from irregularly criss-crossed, short pieces of cut vegetation  and inhabit shallow, vegetation-rich lakes and swamps (Neboiss 1987). Adults fly during daytime in bright sunshine in a moth-like manner around flowering shrubs ( Leptospermum , Melaleuca and others).

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