Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Day 326 - Charmingly Fabulous Caddis Flies

Caddis Fly - Limnephilus rhombicus - I think
Hi everyone, Day 326 and a little creature today I found at the weekend. It was such lovely weather on Sunday that we went for a walk at one of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserves we like called Staveley Nature Reserve. It was a lovely warm day and it was nice to see a few flowers still about and insects busy visiting them. There were lots of dragonflies around still too, Common Darters and a number of hawkers, possibly Emperors (they didn't stay still!). I saw one or two insects I hadn't seen before including today's species. At first I thought this would be simple to identify but I found there were lots of types of them and it's very tricky! I'm looking today at a Caddis Fly - I think this one is Limnephilus rhombicus - it looks most like this from my research so that's what I'm covering today (if it's not and you do know what it please let me know :-)

So what did I find out about these creatures:
Close up bugs eye view!

  • Well the first thing I found out, much to my surprise, was that there are about 198 species in the UK and Ireland!
  • They get their name from their larvae. The larvae are a common fresh water insect that make cases to live in. They make it from silk and then decorate (or disguise it?) with bits of vegetation, small stones and other bits and pieces.
  • I found out that the name might come from Elizabethan times - scraps of cloth and silk were called cadices and street traders selling cloth and silk had scraps sown on their coats, they were called Caddice men.
  • The cases the larvae make help them in different ways. If they live in streams it helps them not to get washed away with the current. It also forms a little cave to hunt from.
    Resting on the flowers
  • As they use silk to make cases to live in they are similar to moths and butterflies and are quite closely related to them but Caddis Flys are in the order Tricoptera and Butterflies and moths are Lepidoptera
  • The larvae of Limnephilus rhombicus live in weedy streams, pond margins, marshes and lakes. Staveley has some nice ponds so that fits.
  • The larvae of Limnephilus rhombicus eat algae and weed at pond margins.
    Drinking nectar?
  • The adults are quite organey and about 14-19mm long, so that fits too!
  • I found far more information about the larvae than the adults and I couldn't find out what the adults eat, but this one seems to like nectar.
    If they eat insects this fly's in trouble!
  • They are seen as adults between May and June and July and September so this one is maybe a late one enjoying the lovely October weather we've had.
  • You can see them across most of the UK right up to the Orkneys and Shetland.
Here's a few links if you want to find out more about these creatures:

Hope you enjoyed,


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