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Case-building larvae can be found in variety of ecosystems from small ponds and streams to large lakes and rivers.
Climbers or crawlers resembling hermit crabs. Some small species are able to swim. The size of caddisfly larvae varies from 3 mm to approximately 40 mm cases of some large species can reach sizes around 60 mm.
Caddisflies undergo complete metamorphosis. Their life cycle includes four stages — egg, larva, pupa and adult. Most species produce one generation per year. Caddisflies, inconspicuous brown to gray insects, are the ecologically diverse and important group of insects.
Caddisflies are closely related to moths order Lepidopterawhich they are often mistaken for. As like in moths, caddisflies are active at night and attracted to light representing important food source for bats.
Their wings are covered with hairs instead of scales, as like in moths. The mouthparts are paired and straight, while moths have a long and coiled tube proboscis. Adults live for about one month and feed on nectar absorbed by The trichoptera mouthparts. Female The trichoptera lay masses of eggs on vegetation just above the water surface.
When the larvae hatch from the eggs, they fall into water and immediately start to build protective cases. When the larva is fully grown, it enters the pupal phase. The larva attaches the case to some solid object, as like stone or a larger piece of submerged wood, and seals the opening.
Subsequently creates the cocoon of silk around the body. Pupal cases can be perforated and thus water permeable. Moreover, insects undergoing transformation inside the case undulate, in order to create flow of oxygenated water around the body.
All members of the order Trichoptera are aquatic as in the stages of larvae and pupae, while adults are terrestrial. Some species are still known only as adults, while their larval stages have not been described yet.
Case-building larvae are the most diverse and abundant group, living in both running and still waters. Caddisfly larvae have elongated bodies resembling caterpillars of moths and butterflies similarity as between adults.
Larvae have always a hardened sclerotized head and first thoracic segment, while the abdomen remains pale and soft. Second and third thoracic segments can be covered with hardened chitinous plates as well.
Position and size of the plates are often important identification features among the species. Pair of segmented legs extends from each thoracic segment. Legs can have modifications as like sharp endings, hooks, or rows of setae. Their purpose is to help the larvae in movement, building the shelter, or collecting food.
Abdomen terminates with a pair of prolegs equipped with claws. They are used to anchor the larvae in the case. Eyes are small and simple. Antennae are very small and can be seen only when using high magnification.
Continually submerged stones and pieces of wood provide the best substrate for growth of algae and periphyton, which the larvae effectively scrap.
|Trichoptera Nearctica - Caddisflies of The United States And Canada||Distribution[ edit ] Caddisflies are found worldwide, with the greater diversity being in warmer regions. They are associated with bodies of freshwater, the larvae being found in lakes, ponds, river, streams and other water bodies.|
|Order Trichoptera - Caddisflies - regardbouddhiste.com||The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life.|
|ENT | General Entomology | Resource Library | Compendium [trichoptera]||They are mostly dull-coloured and range in size from millimetres in body length. Caddisflies are recognisable by the following features:|
As they graze, caddisfly larvae may consume a significant portion of the available algae in the stream. Some species with large mouthparts shred leaves of terrestrial plants fallen into the water. Caddisfly larvae obtain oxygen dissolved in water through thin and soft skin.
Some species have branched gills or humps on the sides of the body in order to increase the body surface. Larvae undulate their body to create a flow of oxygenated water through the case.
The major reason making caddisflies so successful and widespread is their ability to produce a silken thread.
It is spun by glands placed on the labium the same part of the head as dragonflies modified into hunting mask. Case-building caddisfly larvae use the silk to construct various portable shelters. They protect soft abdomen from predators and abrasion from coarse particles drifting in stream.The Trichoptera are evidently closely related to the Lepidoptera in many ways and are undoubtedly, with the last named order, divergent descendants from common ancestors.
Some Lepidoptera so closely resemble Trichoptera, in . The mission of Trichoptera Nearctica is to serve as an informational resource on Trichoptera and to provide up-to-date information on the taxonomy and geographic distribution for all species of Trichoptera known to occur in the Nearctic region.
Trichoptera: caddisflies Characteristics Caddisflies are related to Lepidoptera and resemble small hairy moths, but their wings are covered in dense hairs rather than scales and they lack the typical curled proboscis of most moths and butterflies.
Most species live in a mobile case constructed from plant material, algae, grains of sand, pieces of snail shells, or entirely of silk.
The case is held together with strands of silk secreted by the larva. Caddisflies. The key for Trichoptera can be found in Chapter 10 of the Guide to Aquatic Invertebrates of the Upper Midwest, pages Once you have keyed out your insect, you can use the photographs on this website to verify your identification.
General Information about Caddisflies (Trichoptera) Life history: Caddisflies can spend from 2 months to 2 years as larvae in the water. They prepare a cocoon in the water during their pupal stage (before hatching into adults).