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Rhyacophilidae is a relatively large family, originally established by Stephens (1836). At one time the family included also Glossosomatidae and Hydrobiosidae and other taxa, but its definition has progressively become more restricted. Evolutionary relationships of the family were discussed by Ross (1956) and the family was the subject of a large revision by Schmid (1970). The family is predominantly north temperate and is found in North America, Europe, and Asia, but also extends into India and the tropical areas of southeastern Asia. Currently most of the diversity is included in a single genus, Rhyacophila Pictet, the largest genus in Trichoptera, with over 700 species and additional ones regularly being described. In addition to the landmark works of Ross and Schmid on Rhyacophila, Prather and Morse (2001) studied the phylogeny of the R. invaria group from eastern North America and Mey (1999) investigated the biogeography of Southeast Asian members of the genus. Other genera include Himalopsyche Banks (ca. 50 species, predominantly in the eastern Palaearctic and Oriental regions, but with 1 species from western North America), Philocrena Lepneva (1 species from Georgia, western Palaearctic), and Fansipangana Mey (a single species recently described from Vietnam).


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