Caddis Fly Entomology Pt. 3

Continuing the Caddis fly research for next season here is the next part of the series. I’m trying to keep things short and relevant I apologize for excess “fluff.” I would like to really point out what a resource Troutnut.com is, although most of you know that. 

 

The Summer Caddisflies pt.1 

Little Black Sedge (Chimarra aterrima) 16-18

  • Adult Length: up to 8mm
  • Wing: “Velvety” Black
  • Body: Very dark Brown
  • Legs: Brown
  • Emergence from May-Late June

Chimerra Larva

From the family Philopotamidae the Chimarra aterrima is a net spinning caddis and will look very similar to other free-living caddis fly larva but the picture on troutnut.com is of a yellow larva, I have not seen a yellow larva. They will live typically under rocks filtering food from the flowing current, they will emerge in typical fashion i.e. crawl out or swim to the top. The adults of this species dive to lay there eggs. I make this point because some of LaFontaine’s work and patterns take this fact into account. Note: Interesting point the book Caddisflies states “They share a particular rock with net makers of other families; Hydropsychidae larvae taking the exposed surface and the Philopotamidae larvae taking the protected pockets. pg. 292”  

 

American Grannom (Brachycentrus americanus) 12-14

  • Adult Length: up to 13mm
  • Wing: Almost White-Greenish Brown?
  • Body: Bright Green-Greenish Brown
  • Legs: Brown-Black
  • Emergence from May-June

American Grannom Larva

This is a tube-making caddis fly from the Brachycentridae family, one thing to point out right away is it has a distinct sharp square form to the shell with almost right angles, this is important when narrowing down the options in the field. These pupa do not swim to shore just to the surface of open water to emerge and they inhabit faster water being able to cling to the open surface of the rocks. This species uses an “Anchor” line of silk to catch them should they come loose from the rock. The book points to the fact that some fly fishermen have been known to color their tippet white with a marker when fishing the larval imitations. I don’t know if I think this is necessary but it might help. 

 

Speckled Peter (Helicopsyche borealis) 16-20

  • Adult Length: up to 7mm
  • Wing: Light Brown with Dark Brown Speckles
  • Body: Pale to Straw Yellow
  • Legs: Straw Yellow
  • Emergence is from Late May-Early June (Shorter Period)

The Speckled Peter is the only caddis fly in it’s family (Helicopsychidae) of any importance to the fly fisherman. This is a tube making caddis but it is described as a “snail shell” building caddisfly, the shape is of a coil of small rocks. The larvae crawl around eating the algae and detritus off rocks. The pupa swim and emerge in open water. Apparently this species has an ability to survive harsh conditions which is why they are widespread and have important numbers. The larvae tend to inhabit moderate moving water. This caddis fly has a very wide range and has been found in almost every state.

 

Little Tan Short Horn Sedge (Glossosoma intermedium) 14-18

  • Adult Length: up to 10mm
  • Wing: Pale Tan-Medium Brown
  • Body: Greenish Brown
  • Legs: Brown Light-Dark
  • Emergence in Later May thru Early July

Little Tan Short Horn Sedge Larva

From the family Glossosomatidae this is a “saddle” making caddis fly. They build something that would be described as a turtle shell to live in while eating algae and such. Interesting that this genre can be broken into 6 major groups and then spaced cooler-warmer water with G. intermedium in the colder end. Of all the case makers these are the ones coming in last in class and are the most primitive. The larvae live entirly in the case and leave only to emerge or to build a new larger case, this is a point where they are vulnerable to trout. The larvae in the case are a pinkish color and I belive on one of my recent hunting events I found a rock covered with something very similar to this and photographed the larva as an orange/pink grub.

One Comment:

  1. There is a yellow larva that is common in pastur-ized creeks however it is smaller than a caddis and is actually a Diptera, a “poo” fly as I like to commonly call it..

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