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Introduction

This is a Northern Hemisphere family found in both the Old and New Worlds. Ulmer (1903) originally established this group as a subfamily of Sericostomatidae. It now contains 6 genera and a little over 100 species. Three of these genera are monotypic: Adicrophleps Flint (Nearctic), Amiocentrus Ross (Nearctic), and Dolichocentrus Martynov (southeastern Siberia). Eobrachycentrus Wiggins (Japan and western North America) contains only half a dozen species. Brachycentrus Curtis (ca. 30 species) and Micrasema McLachlan (ca. 75 species) are both widespread across the Holarctic and Oriental regions. Larvae construct cases from plant or rock materials, and some species use silk alone for part of the case. Several genera build 4-sided cases. The family is ecologically diverse. They inhabit running waters, but may be found in slow-flowing marshy channels. Some genera feed on aquatic moss; others are filter-feeders. Larvae of some Brachycentridae have rows of hairs on the middle and hind legs used for filtering food particles from currents. Some North American species of Brachycentrus can be found in thermal streams with temperatures as high as 34°C that smell strongly of hydrogen sulfide (Wiggins 2004). (From Holzenthal et al., 2007)

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