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

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The family is restricted to the Australasian and Neotropical regions. About 9 genera and 20 species are known, of which 5 genera with 13 species occur in Australia.


Adults moderately large, wing span 16-35 mm. Wings irregularly speckled. Ocelli absent. Maxillary palps 3-5-segmented in males, 5-segmented in females; basal segment short with apicomesal expansion bearing tuft of setae. In most genera males with pair of pilifers arising above base of maxillary palps and held upright in front of face. Antennae stout, about as long as fore wing; 10-15 basal segments often excavated laterally, bearing setae or pectinate. Mesonotum usually with setal warts, if warts absent, then one or several setiferous punctures present in their place; scutellum usually with pair of rounded setal warts. Wings elongate, in some species truncate apically; discoidal cells closed in both wings; in fore wing R 1 joins R 2 near apical margin; in resting position wings folded longitudinally. Tibial spurs 2:4:4.

Larval head with antennae close to anterior margin; ventral apotome triangular, not separating genae. Pro- and mesonota fully sclerotised, prosternum with sclerite; metanotum with 2 or 3 pairs of sclerites. Fore and mid legs subequal, semi-raptorial; mid leg with tibia and tarsus fused; hind legs long, normal. Abdominal segment 1 with dorsal and lateral spacing humps; gills branched; lateral fringe present; segment 8 with row of bifid spicules, dorsal sclerite present on segment 9; anal claw with single accessory hook. Larvae are predatory and construct stout, tubular cases of coarse sand grains.