Trichoptera - the caddisflies

bug

penny
Note the size of the real penny and use it to judge the size of the bugs in the following pictures.

Family: Hydropsychidae, The Netspinners

larval Hydropsychidae

adult Tricoptera

Class: Insecta

Order: Trichoptera, the caddisflies

Family: Hydropsychidae, netspinners

Size: Larvae reach 0.5 to 1 inch (15-30 mm) in length

Habitat & Habits: Larvae are very common in rocky streams. They spin mesh nets of silk in the current at the entrance of a retreat of small debris. Adults resemble moths and are commonly found flying near streams during the warmer months.

Feeding: Larvae spin mesh nets that collect detritus and algae carried by the current. Larvae are omnivorous and will eat smaller animals if given the chance.

Water Quality Indicator: Most species are moderately tolerant of nutrient pollution, but a few are sensitive to pollution.


Family: Brachycentridae, Humpless Casemakers

larval Brachycentridae

Class: Insecta

Order: Trichoptera, the caddisflies

Family: Brachycentridae, humpless casemakers

Size: 0.2-0.5 inch (6-12 mm)

Habitat & Habits: Brachycentrid larvae live in streams and build cases which are either 4-sided and like a log-cabin or are cylindrical. Larvae creep around, often clinging to woody debris in the stream. Some larvae occur in cold sandy streams. Adults are terrestrial, with 4 hairy wings that give them a moth-like appearance. Fly fisherfolk use flies that mimic these adults & pupae.

Feeding: Brachycentrid larvae either spin small silk nets that collect detritus out of the stream current, or they shred leaves for food. Adults feed on nectar.

Water Quality Indicator: Larvae are very intolerant of nutrient pollution and are good water quality indicators.


Family: Glossosomatidae, Saddle or Turtle Casemakers

larval Glossoma

Class: Insecta

Order: Trichoptera, the caddisflies

Family: Glossosomatidae, saddle or turtle casemakers

Size: 0.1-0.3 inch (3-9 mm)

Habitat & Habits: Larvae live in streams and build tortoise-like cases of tiny rocks held together with silk. Larvae carry these cases with them as they crawl about on stream rocks. Adults resemble moths and can be found in vegetation alongside the stream.

Feeding: Larvae scrape algae and detritus off of stream rocks. Adults feed on nectar.

Water Quality Indicator: Larvae are very intolerant of nutrient pollution and are good water quality indicators.


Family: Lepidostomatidae / Genus: Lepidostoma

Lepidostoma larva

Class: Insecta

Order: Trichoptera, the caddisflies

Family: Lepidostomatidae /
Genus: Lepidostoma

Size: 0.3-0.4 inch (7-11 mm)

Habitat & Habits: Larvae are commonly found in small, cool streams. Many species build 4-sided cases of tiny blocks of wood, which they carry as the crawl on the stream bottom and on woody debris. Adults resemble moths and can be found alongside the stream.

Feeding: Larvae shred leaves and eat detritus. Adults probably feed on nectar.

Water Quality Indicator: Lepidostoma larvae are very intolerant of nutrient pollution and are good water quality indicators.


Family: Rhyacophilidae, Freeliving Caddisflies / Genus: Rhyacophila

larval Rhyacophilla

Class: Insecta

Order: Trichoptera, the caddisflies

Family: Family: Rhyacophilidae, freeliving caddisflies/
Genus: Rhyacophila

Size: 0.4-0.7 inch (11-18 mm

Habitat & Habits: The often-green larvae live in cool streams and crawl about actively through stream rocks and debris. They are one of the few caddisflies that do not build cases or spin nets, making them more vulnerable to fish predation. Adults are moth-like and found along stream margins.

Feeding: Larvae are active predators, crawling along the stream bottom in search of prey.

Water Quality Indicator: Larvae are moderately intolerant of nutrient pollution.