A preliminary cladistic-phylogenetic analysis of the four Holarctic genera of Adelidae recognized is presented. The monophyly of the superfamily Incurvarioidea is demonstrated on the basis of three possible synapomorphies, and that of the family Adelidae on the basis of three others. The subgenus Cauchas Zeller, 1839 is given generic status, as it is demonstrated to represent the sister-group of Nemophora Illiger & Hoffmannsegg, 1798 and Adela Latreille, 1796. Chalceopla Braun, 1921 is a new synonym of Cauchas Zeller, 1839. A key to the genera, based on males, is given.