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The family was established by Stephens (1836) as Sericostomidae (later emended by McLachlan 1874 to Sericostomatidae). As presently constituted the family contains 19 genera and only 100 or so species. The distribution of these genera is cosmopolitan, except for Australia, New Zealand, and their biogeographically associated islands, but the genera are for the most part restricted within their regions. In Africa, the family occurs only in South Africa where 5 endemic genera occur (Aclosma Morse, Aselas Barnard, Cheimacheramus Barnard, Petroplax Barnard, and Rhoixema Barnard, the later also recently described from Madagascar). In the Neotropics, the genera are endemic to southern Chile and adjacent Argentina (Chiloecia Navás, Myotrichia Schmid, Notidobiella Schmid, and Parasericostoma Schmid) and to southern and southeastern Brazil and adjacent Argentina (Grumicha Müller). In North America, 2 genera are endemic to the eastern half of the continent (Agarodes Banks and Fattigia Ross) and 1 genus, Gumaga Tsuda occurs in the western portion of the region. Gumaga is also found in the Oriental region where a genus endemic to India also occurs (Asahaya Schmid). Five genera occur in the western Palaearctic region from northern and southern Europe, northern Africa, east to the Caucasus, Iran, and the Arabian peninsula (Cerasma McLachlan, Notidobia Stephens, Oecismus McLachlan, Schizopelex McLachlan, and Sericostoma Latreille). In addition to the 19 genera formally assigned to the family, several additional anomalous genera are known within the superfamily Sericostomatoidea that have not been assigned to a family. For completeness of coverage, these genera are: Ceylanopsyche Fischer from Sri Lanka, Karomana Schmid from India, Mpuga Schmid from India, Ngoya Schmid from India, and Seselpsyche Malicky from the Seychelles. Schmid (1993) and Malicky (1993) discuss the status of these enigmatic genera. Taken from Holzenthal et al. (2007a).


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