The standing of the Trichoptera in a position almost ancestral to the Lepidoptera is one of the assured results of recent morphological study, the mobile mandibulate pupa and the imperfectly suctorial maxillae of the Trichoptera reappearing in the lowest families of the Lepidoptera.
In all Trichoptera the maxillary palps of the female are fivesegmented.
Fossil Trichoptera occur in rocks of Liassic age.
Apart from this feature the Trichoptera also differ from the typical Neuroptera in the relatively simple, mostly longitudinal neuration of the wings, the absence or obsolescence of the mandibles and the semi-haustellate nature of the rest of the mouth-parts.
At the base of each wing projects a dorsal lobe - the jugumand the neuration is predominantly longitudinal, resembling so closely that of the lower Lepidoptera (q.v.) that a nearer relationship of the Trichoptera to that order than to any group of the old Linnean Neuroptera is certain.