Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department



Morse, John C

Committee Member

Adler , Peter H

Committee Member

Kjer , Karl M

Committee Member

Turnbull , Matthew W


The family Hydropsychidae is nearly ubiquitous in streams and rivers, with over 1600 described species worldwide. Hydropsychidae is ecologically important and its larvae play key roles as indicators of water quality. Conflicting morphological characters have obscured the evolutionary history of the subfamilies, and the wide diversity of phallic morphology among Hydropsyche sensu lato species has created unstable classification systems that have been disputed among authors. My research used five nuclear ribosomal and mitochondrial COI fragments to infer a molecular phylogeny for Hydropsychidae subfamilies and genera, focusing particularly on the Hydropsychinae and the Hydropsyche sensu lato lineage. The monophyly of four out of five subfamilies was strongly supported and the basal position of Arctopsychinae was moderately supported by molecular data. Some support was found for the Smicrideinae as sister to the Hydropsychinae, but the placement of Diplectrona within Hydropsychidae remains unresolved. Molecular evidence did not support a monophyletic (Hydropsychinae + Macronematinae), meaning that these two clades could have evolved their wing-coupling mechanisms independently. Morphological and molecular synapomorphies strongly supported the monophyly of Hydropsyche sensu lato, but the gene fragments used in this analysis did not provide enough characters to further resolve species relationships within the lineage. In partial agreement with morphology, the molecular data supported redefining the genus Hydropsyche to include Abacaria, Aoteapsyche, Caledopsyche, Ceratopsyche, Herbertorossia, Hydatomanicus, Mexipsyche, and Orthopsyche.

Included in

Entomology Commons