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A morphological and molecular revision of the taxonomy and phylogeny of calocidae (Trichoptera: Insecta)

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posted on 2023-01-18, 16:38 authored by Michael Shackleton
Caddisflies of the family Calocidae are small to medium sized, semi-aquatic insects endemic to Australia and New Zealand. Until now, only a small portion of the taxonomy of this family has been resolved, with many larval types known but unassociated with described adults and many collected specimens of tentative new species requiring descriptions. Here, fourteen new species are described, and one new genus is established. Associations of larval and adult stages are provided for nine species. This thesis includes six chapters focussing on each of the Australian endemic genera: Caenota, Caloca, Calocoides, Pliocaloca, Tamasia, and a new genus Latarima. The genus Caenota is revised, with descriptions of adults and larvae of two new species, an association between the adult and larva of Caenota nemorosa, a discussion on diagnostic features of the head capsules of all species, and keys to the adult males and larvae. Seven new species of Caloca are described and a key to the adult males provided. An association between the adult male and larva of Caloca tertia is established. Descriptions of the adults and larvae of two new species in each of the genera Calocoides and Pliocaloca are given. The possibility of a new species of Tamasia, based on distinct larvae found on mainland Australia, is investigated including a discussion on the population dynamics of T. variegata. Lastly, a new genus, Latarima, is established and the transfer of Tamasia furcilla to this genus is established. The phylogenetic relationships within Calocidae are explored through coupling morphological and molecular techniques. Morphological characters are used to infer species boundaries and these are tested and refined using genetic data from nuclear (CAD, EF1α, and POL2) and mitochondrial (COI) DNA fragments. This work has practical implications for freshwater research and monitoring programs, which rely on taxonomic information to determine species identities. The exploration into the systematics of this family adds to our understanding of the evolution of the caddisflies.

Submission note: A thesis submitted in total fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the School of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science, Technology & Engineering, La Trobe University, Bundoora.


Center or Department

Faculty of Science, Technology & Engineering. School of Life Sciences.

Thesis type

  • Ph. D.

Awarding institution

La Trobe University

Year Awarded


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