The trichoptera

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. In the United Kingdom it is found in and around the county of Worcestershire in oakwoods.

The trichoptera

The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group The trichoptera the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.

You can click on the root to travel down the Tree of Life all the way to the root of all Life, and you can click on the names of descendent subgroups to travel up the Tree of Life all the way to individual species.

To learn more about phylogenetic trees, please visit our Phylogenetic Biology pages. Endopterygota Introduction Trichoptera, or caddisflies, comprise the most diverse insect order whose members are exclusively aquatic. Only aquatic Diptera outnumber them in species and ecological diversity. The larval stages are found in lakes, rivers, and streams around the world, and are important components of food webs in these freshwater ecosystems Resh and Rosenberg A few species in the family Chathamiidae from New Zealand and Australia are unusual for the Insecta in having larvae that are truly marine, mostly restricted to tidal pools.

Adult Trichoptera, in contrast to the larvae, are terrestrial and look much like drab, fragile moths, often occurring in large numbers in lakeside or streamside habitats. The similarity is not incidental.

Trichoptera are closely related to the order Lepidoptera and together the two orders comprise the superorder Amphiesmenoptera, or "dressed-up wings," the name referring to the dense clothing of scales or hairs on the wings.

Monophyly of these two orders is strongly supported in both morphological and molecular analyses KristensenWheeler, et al. Trichoptera possess the more primitive character state, having hairs rather than scales, and this character accounts for the name Trichoptera, meaning "hairy wings.

Unlike Lepidoptera larvae, The trichoptera are predominantly terrestrial herbivores, Trichoptera larvae, with very few exceptions, are aquatic and primarily detritivorous.

Like lepidopteran caterpillars, caddisfly larvae are capable of spinning silk from specially modified salivary glands. The diversity of microhabitats exploited by caddisfly larvae is a consequence of the many ways silk is used to construct retreats, nets, and cases and probably accounts for the success of the order as a whole Mackay and WigginsWiggins Almost 12, caddisfly species, placed in 45 families and about genera, have been described from all faunal regions, but it has been estimated that the world fauna may contain as many as 50, species Schmid The three currently recognized suborders are largely characterized by differences in the way silk is used Rosswhether to produce nets or tubes, or as glue to make various types of portable cases, often incorporating sand and small pebbles, or bits of leaves and twigs, each genus or even species building its own particular style of case.

Some larvae are free-living and predaceous, but nevertheless lay down a strand of silk as they move, much like the larvae of Lepidoptera.

The larvae, and the fascinating nets and cases they produce, represents the life stage most familiar to the non-entomologist, and the case-making behavior of some species may account for the English common name, caddisfly.

Although the origin of the word is obscure, it has been suggested to derive from cadaz or cadace caddysa word of variable spelling used in Shakespearean times to refer to a ribbon made from a certain kind of yarn sold by traveling vendors, who because of this were sometimes called "cadice men.

Although caddisflies are not generally considered to be of great economic importance as pests, they are beneficially important in the trophic dynamics and energy flow in aquatic ecosystems.

The larvae are also useful as biological indicator organisms for assessing water quality. Extensive use of them has been made for this purpose because larvae of different species vary in sensitivity to various types of pollution Resh and UnzickerReshDohetand because the taxonomy of the group is relatively well known for temperate regions.


Unfortunately, the larvae of many species, especially in the tropics, are unknown or have not been associated with their adult forms. Characteristics Caddisflies are easily recognized by a number of features.

Adult mouthparts are reduced, with mandibles essentially absent, but the maxillary and labial palps, and often the haustellum, are prominent.

The compound eyes are well developed, and ocelli may or may not be present.

Caddisfly larvae (order Trichoptera) | LIFE IN FRESHWATER

The forewings are somewhat longer than the hind wings, although the hind wings may be broader. Both pairs of wings and the body are usually covered with setae, or hairs, and occasionally with patches of scales.

The trichoptera

The wings are generally held rooflike when folded over the body. In most species the antennae are filamentous and about as long as the body, but in some families they can be several times longer than the body.

The trichoptera

Tibial spurs on the legs are conspicuous. Larvae are aquatic and construct a case or retreat, except for a couple of "free-living" families. Like most holometabolous larvae, they have well developed mandibulate mouthparts and the thoracic legs are well developed, but abdominal prolegs are absent except for a pair of anal prolegs on the last abdominal segment, each proleg bearing a strong "anal claw.

Caddisfly larva and case Integripalpia: The monophyly of the order Trichoptera is very well established. Following is a list of some characters that have been proposed as synapomorphic for the order WeaverKristensen This has resulted not only in different hypotheses about the evolutionary history of the group, but also in a confusion in the use of taxonomic categories, since different authors use different terminology, or have been inconsistent in how certain taxonomic categories have been used.

In general, three major groups have been recognized, more or less corresponding to the different ecological adaptations of the larvae.

We refer to these by their most common subordinal names, Annulipalpia, Spicipalpia, and Integripalpia each in its most restricted sense and as used by Wiggins and Wichard However, the respective superordinal names of Hydropsychoidea, Rhyacophiloidea, and Limnephiloidea, respectively sensu RossNeboisshave sometimes been used to refer to groups of equivalent taxonomic coverage.

Caddisfly - Wikipedia

Because life history strategies have been used in constructing theories of caddisfly phylogenetic relationships, it is useful to review the life histories of the major groups: The Annulipalpia includes all of the families whose larvae make retreats and capture nets.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. Caddisfly larvae are aquatic, with six pairs of tracheal gills on the underside of the abdomen. The eggs are laid above water on emergent twigs or vegetation or on the water surface although females of some species enter water to choose sites.

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.

The Trichoptera World Checklist is a project of the successive International Symposia on Trichoptera, with the responsibility for its policy and maintenance assigned to the Trichoptera Checklist Coordinating Committee.

Schmid, F. Genera of the Trichoptera of Canada and Adjoining or Adjacent United States, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

Waringer, J. ; Graf, W. Key and bibliography of the genera of European Trichoptera larvae. 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.

Trichoptera Nearctica - Caddisflies of The United States And Canada