Under Construction


Ralph W. Holzenthal, Roger J. Blahnik, Aysha Prather, and Karl Kjer taxon links [down<--]Leptoceroidea Interpreting the tree
close box

This tree diagram shows the relationships between several groups of organisms.

The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.

example of a tree diagram

You can click on the root to travel down the Tree of Life all the way to the root of all Life, and you can click on the names of descendent subgroups to travel up the Tree of Life all the way to individual species.

For more information on ToL tree formatting, please see Interpreting the Tree or Classification. To learn more about phylogenetic trees, please visit our Phylogenetic Biology pages.

close box
Containing group: Leptoceroidea


Philorheithridae is another small family of about 25 species that shows a trans-Antarctic distribution, with genera endemic to Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, or southern Chile and adjacent Argentina. There are 8 genera, with about 2-6 species each, distributed as follows: southern Chile, Argentina (Mystacopsyche Schmid, Psilopsyche Ulmer), southeast Australia, Tasmania (Austrheithrus Mosely, Aphilorheithrus Mosely, Kosrheithrus Mosely, Ramirheithrus Neboiss, Tasmanthrus Mosely), and New Zealand (Philorheithrus Hare). The 2 earliest named genera, Psilopsyche Ulmer and Philorheithrus Hare, were originally described in the Odontoceridae and Sericostomatidae, respectively. Mosely (1936) established the family, with Philorheithrus as its type genus. The semi-raptorial morphology of the fore- and midlegs of the larvae reveal their predatory behavior. Larvae construct stout, tubular cases of sand grains and live on or in sandy bottom sediments in small to medium-sized rivers. In the males of most species, there is a pair of “pilifers:” digitate, semimembranous structures, emerging dorsad of the maxillary palps and held in front of the face. Some males have pectinate antennae. In general, these are rather large caddisflies, with wing lengths of about 1-1.5 cm. (From Holzenthal et al., 2007)


Holzenthal R.W., Blahnik, R.J., Prather, A.L., and Kjer K.M. 2007. Order Trichoptera Kirby 1813 (Insecta), Caddisflies. In: Zhang, Z.-Q., and Shear, W.A. (Eds). 2007 Linneaus Tercentenary: Progress in Invertebrate Taxonomy. Zootaxa. 1668:639698.

Mosely, M.E. (1936) Tasmanian Trichoptera or caddis-flies. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1936, 395424.

About This Page

Ralph W. Holzenthal
University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Roger J. Blahnik
University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Aysha Prather
Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Karl Kjer
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Ralph W. Holzenthal at , Roger J. Blahnik at , Aysha Prather at , and Karl Kjer at

Page: Tree of Life Philorhethridae. Authored by Ralph W. Holzenthal, Roger J. Blahnik, Aysha Prather, and Karl Kjer. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Holzenthal, Ralph W., Roger J. Blahnik, Aysha Prather, and Karl Kjer. 2010. Philorhethridae. Version 20 July 2010 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Philorhethridae/14592/2010.07.20 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

edit this page
close box

This page is a Tree of Life Branch Page.

Each ToL branch page provides a synopsis of the characteristics of a group of organisms representing a branch of the Tree of Life. The major distinction between a branch and a leaf of the Tree of Life is that each branch can be further subdivided into descendent branches, that is, subgroups representing distinct genetic lineages.

For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

close box


Page Content

articles & notes



Explore Other Groups

random page

  go to the Tree of Life home page