Compiler and date details
October 2012 - Alice Wells, Australian Biological Resources Study
February 2012 - Alice Wells, Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra
2008 - A. Wells, Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra, Australia
1988 - Arturs Neboiss, Department of Entomology, National Museum of Victoria, Abbotsford, Victoria
The first Australian caddis-fly species, Plectrotarsus gravenhorstii, was described by Kolenati in 1848. This species was later found to represent an endemic Australian family, Plectrotarsidae, and although the original description gave the type locality as Western Australia (Australia occidentali), the species is restricted to SE Australia and Tasmania. Once common along the coastal habitats south-east of Melbourne, it has disappeared almost completely, no doubt due to the destruction of its natural habitat. In 1852, the well-known British entomologist, Francis Walker, in his Catalogue of the Specimens of Neuropterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum, described and recorded several additional caddis-fly species from Van Diemens Land (Tasmania) and New Holland (Australia). Among those listed was a variety of Plectrotarsus gravenhorstii from Tasmania, which later was recognised as a separate species by Mosely (1936a).
Some of the localities given by Walker (1852) have proved erroneous. Notidobia latifascia Walker and Goera elegans Walker, described a few pages apart, were recorded as North American, but both names are synonymous and represent the well-known Australian species Anisocentropus latifascia (Walker). A similar situation was discovered by Neboiss (1984) where the presumed Australian species described by Walker as Monopseudopsis inscriptus (=Macronema australis McLachlan, 1862) is, in fact, the North American species Macrostemum zebratum (Hagen, 1861). All these specimens had originated from the ‘Entomological Club’. A search through early records and labels revealed the use of abbreviated handwritten designation ‘NH’ for New Holland and ‘NA’ for North America. It appears that, at least in some instances, the ‘H’ and ‘A’ were misinterpreted and led to the mistaken identity of the country of origin.
Up to the end of the nineteenth century, information on the Australian caddis-fly fauna increased very slowly and, including the few species described by Brauer (1865) and McLachlan (1866, 1871), the total reached only ten. The first record of larvae, although mistakenly identified as a mollusc, appeared in the Meeting notices of the Royal Society of Tasmania (Dyer 1879); this note undoubtedly refers to larvae of the family Helicopsychidae.
At the beginning of the 20th century, two regional surveys added a considerable amount of new information. They were the Hamburg–South West Australian expedition 1905–06 and Dr Mjöberg's Swedish Scientific Expeditions to Queensland 1910–13. The caddis-fly material of both expeditions was examined and new species were described by Ulmer (1908 & 1916, respectively).
Banks (1913, 1920), Martynov (1914), Tillyard (1922) and Navás (1923, 1934) each added few new species, but more comprehensive works were published by Mosely (1933, 1934, 1936b) and Banks (1939). In the first major study on Australian and New Zealand Trichoptera (Mosely & Kimmins 1953), information on the entire fauna was brought together, numerous new species described, distributions recorded and family arrangements discussed. This work brought the total number of Australian species to 177 in 69 genera, representing 17 families.
In the following three decades the increasing interest and awareness of environmental protection, associated with water quality and pollution problems, called for wider and more detailed information on aquatic insects. In many instances the accumulated survey material represented undescribed species and provided the basis for the ensuing studies. Family classification was analysed by Ross (1956, 1967) and Riek (1968, 1977), new species were added by Korboot (1964), Jacquemart (1965a, 1965b) and Schmid (1969). More extensive revisional works in several groups were published by Neboiss (1962–1984) and Morse & Neboiss (1982). The studies of Australian Hydroptilidae by Wells (1979–1985) raised the number of known species of the family in Australia from 15 to 97; by the end of the year 2001, 130 species had been described. In a checklist of the Australian caddis-flies, Neboiss (1983) listed a total of 405 species in 24 families, but only three years later, in the Atlas of Trichoptera of the SW Pacific-Australian Region, Neboiss (1986) ascribed and illustrated 441 species for Australia. Neboiss & Walker (1989) listed the Trichoptera types held in the Museum Victoria. This present database of Australian Trichoptera includes 26 families, 109 genera, and 786 species (Oct. 2012). Australian Trichoptera species are also listed on the Trichoptera World Checklist at http://entweb.clemson.edu/database/trichopt/.
Faunistic studies published since publication of Neboiss (1983) include those of Dean & Cartwright (1987: faunistics and phenology of Trichoptera in a central Victorian stream); Pearson et al. (1986) and Benson & Pearson (1988: faunistics and phenology of Trichoptera in a tropical Queensland stream); Dean & Cartwright (1992: Trichoptera the Pelion Valley, Tasmanian World Heritage Area); Walker et al. (1995a, 1995b: the Trichoptera of the Queensland Wet Tropics); and Wells & Cartwright (1993: the Trichoptera of the Jardine River area of Cape York). The systematics of Australian Trichoptera were summarised by Neboiss (1994a).
A higher classification of Trichoptera was presented by Holzenthal et al. (2011) has been adopted here. Below is a list of families occurring in the Australian fauna, with numbers of species described (at February 2012) in brackets.
The type material has been located for all but one species, Chimarra australis (Navás 1923). All publications containing original descriptions have been sighted.
Realisation of the value of Trichoptera in studies on freshwater systems has led to a profusion of identification keys, and emphasis on studies of immature stages. An illustrated key to adults at family and genus level was published by Neboiss (1992b) and an invaluable series of preliminary guides/keys is now available. These include keys to larvae of all families and genera in Australia (Dean, St Clair & Cartwright 1995; Dean et al. 1995), and several dealing with one or more families, produced for the series of workshops run by the Co-operative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology (Dean 1991, 1997, 1999, 2000; Cartwright 1997a, 1997b; St Clair 1997, 2000a, 2000b; Wells 1997; Jackson 1998). The internet LucID interactive key to Australian Aquatic Invertebrates enables family level identification of Australian caddisfly larvae and is available at http://www.lucidcentral.com/keys/lwrrdc/public/Aquatics/.
The information on type specimens provided by Dr P.C. Barnard of British Museum (Natural History), London has been invaluable. Sincere thanks are also due to Dr A. Wells, Zoology Department, University of Adelaide; Miss J.C. Cardale, Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO Division of Entomology, Canberra; Dr T. New, Zoology Department, La Trobe University, Bundoora; and Mr K. Walker, Museum of Victoria, Melbourne, who were always available for comments and criticism.
The type material, deposited in a number of Australian and overseas insititutions, was examined in the course of previous revisional works and during the preparation of the Checklist (Neboiss 1983). The cooperation of these Institutions has been greatly appreciated.
A. Wells is grateful for assistance from D. Cartwright, R. St Clair, J. Dean and A. Neboiss in the updating of the 1988 Catalogue.
The information on the Australian Faunal Directory site for the Trichoptera is derived from the Zoological Catalogue of Australia database compiled on the Platypus software program. It was updated by A. Wells, ABRS and incorporates changes made to the work published on 23 December, 1988 as (Neboiss, A., 1988). Last updated 22 May, 2003.
Distribution data in the Directory is by political and geographic region descriptors and serves as a guide to the distribution of a taxon. For details of a taxon's distribution, the reader should consult the cited references (if any) at genus and species levels.
Australia is defined as including Lord Howe Is., Norfolk Is., Cocos (Keeling) Ils, Christmas Is., Ashmore and Cartier Ils, Macquarie Is., Australian Antarctic Territory, Heard and McDonald Ils, and the waters associated with these land areas of Australian political responsibility. Political areas include the adjacent waters.
Terrestrial geographical terms are based on the drainage systems of continental Australia, while marine terms are self explanatory except as follows: the boundary between the coastal and oceanic zones is the 200 m contour; the Arafura Sea extends from Cape York to 124 DEG E; and the boundary between the Tasman and Coral Seas is considered to be the latitude of Fraser Island, also regarded as the southern terminus of the Great Barrier Reef.
Distribution records, if any, outside of these areas are listed as extralimital. The distribution descriptors for each species are collated to genus level. Users are advised that extralimital distribution for some taxa may not be complete.
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