Protoptila, Banks, 1904

Blahnik, Roger J. & Armitage, Brian J., 2019, The Trichoptera of Panama. XII. Contributions to the family Glossosomatidae (Insecta: Trichoptera) in Panama, Insecta Mundi 740 (740), pp. 1-17 : 5

publication ID

publication LSID


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name



Genus Protoptila

This genus is considered the sister taxon to Mortoniella ( Robertson and Holzenthal 2013) . Both genera are characterized by having a pair of short appendages attached to the ventral margin of the phallobase, which engage with a hollowed receptacle on the mesal surface of the inferior appendages or phallic ensemble. This is a unique character, not otherwise found within the subfamily Protoptilinae . The genus has a number of distinctive apomorphies in its male genitalia, most distinctive of which are a ventral extension of sternum VIII beneath segment IX, and the structure of the phallic apparatus, which has an enlarged, blade-like apodeme basodorsally and an elongate and often arched phallicata, which is fused to the phallobase. Additionally, inferior appendages are generally absent or vestigial. Other characters, varying greatly among individual species, include the structure of the lateral lobes of tergum X and the structure of the paramere appendages. Nearly 100 species are currently known, making it the second largest genus in Protoptilinae (behind Mortoniella ). Although the individual species are, in general, relatively easy to diagnose, because of the complexity and variability of structures of the genitalia, the genus as a whole has never been treated comparatively or comprehensively. Consequently, it is often difficult to determine relationships among species, or group of species. This is true of the species treated here, each of which is distinctive in its own right, but difficult to compare to other described species.