Systematic position

AnonymeThe Westminster Review, Londres, Trübner & Co., vol. 103, 1875, p. 534.

The banks or our rivers and ponds are haunted by numerous four-winged flies of a peculiar moth-like, aspect, which are well know to anglers under the general name of caddis-flies; an their larva, which dwell in the water in small cases constructed of various materials, are equally familiar as caddis-worms. Ten years ago Mr. MacLachlan published in the Transactions of the Entomological Society a monograph of the British species of the group which under the name of Trichoptera, has been variously regarded as a sub-order of the Neuroptera and as a distinct Order, and he has now commenced the publication as a separate work of a similar treatise on the European forms, being incited there to by the recognition of certain imperfections in his former memoir and by the desire to communicate the results of his further investigations. The group to which this work is devoted, although not extensive, is one of great interest, not only on account of the curious habits of the insects composing it, but from its systematic position, for it seems undoubtedly, as Mr. MacLachlan has maintained, at the expense, he tells us, of « severe castigation », to hold a near relation to another order of insects, that of the Lepidoptera. The external resemblance of some Trichoptera to certain moths is often perfectly delusive: the wings are covered with scale-like hairs, which at least make an approach to the scales of the moths, and the structure of the mouth also seems to lead in the direction of the Lepidoptera. The classification and determination of the species of this group is a matter of some difficulty, and requires careful and minute descriptions and figures of the parts from which the characters are drawn. To supply these desiderata is Mr MacLachlan’s present object, and in the first part, which appeared in december last, he has given very full descriptions of a portion of the European genera and species of caddis-flies illustrated with five plates of outline figures drawn by the author himself. We recommend this elaborate work to the notice of entomologists, in the hope that many who perhaps no special interest in its subject may be willing to assist the author in its production by subscribing to what, when completed, will be one of the most creditable of British entomological publications.