The Leptoceridae is among the three largest families within the order Trichoptera (caddisflies). The current classification is founded on a phylogenetic work from the 1980’s, mainly based on morphological characters from adult males, i.e. wing venation, tibial spur formula and genital morphology. In order to get a second opinion about the relationships within the family, we have undertaken a molecular study of the family based on sequences from five genes; one mitochondrial and four nuclear.
The resulting phylogenetical hypotheses are more or less congruent with the morphologically based classification, with most genera and tribes recovered as monophyletic, but with some major differences. For monophyly of the two subfamilies Triplectidinae and Leptoceriane, one tribe of each had to be removed and erected to subfamily status and the monophyly of some genera and tribes have to be questioned. All clades but the subfamily Leptocerinae were stable across different analysis methods, results presumably based on the taxon sampling.
With support from the results obtained here we erect the tribes Grumichellini and Leptorussini to subfamily status, Grumichellinae and Leptorussinae, respectively. We are also confident in the discovery of a few non-valid genera that are synonymised, e.g. Ptochoecetis with Oecetis and Condocerus with Hudsonema.