Posted by: lensweb | March 17, 2015



This week I received the 2014 report of the Caddisfly Occurrence Scheme from Stuart Crofts. Throughout the summer I collect one specimen of each kind of caddis which I find in the moth trap I run and send them for identification. Painstakingly and heroically Stuart has identified 35 different species from my Long Eaton garden. Most of them are species found in streams, ponds, canals and temporary pools.

What are Caddis?

Classified ‘Trichoptera’ Caddis look like brown flies but caddis have two pairs of hairy membranous wings and long antennae.

They are weak fliers and flutter like the closely related moths.

Fishermen call them sedges and copy their shape and colour when tying fishing flies .

Athripsodes albifrons (2)

Athripsodes albifrons Photo credit Marion Bryce

How can I see them?   

They are usually found in or near water

Adults are active at night and may be attracted to light

Caddis life cycle

Aquatic larvae spin silk and may be grouped :

  • free-living caddis build a case just before pupation
  • net-spinning caddis
  • case-building ‘tube’ caddis


              Limnephilid larva Photo credit Marion Bryce

Caddis pupate in a cocoon spun from silk and emerge as fully formed winged adults.

Many caddis emerge synchronously en masse.

The non-feeding adult stage may last for 2 months.

Once mated, the female lays a gelatinous mass of eggs in the water which quickly hatch

Larvae usually go through 5 stages of development (called instars)

Caddis may complete their life cycles in a year.

What use are they?

Caddis larvae graze water plants and recycle animal and plant debris

Caddis are a significant food source and are eaten by birds, bats, amphibians and fish

Caddis larvae are sensitive to oxygen levels and chemicals in water

Like canaries in coal mines, caddis communities are used to assess water quality

Limnephilus flavicornis

  Fish eye view of Limnephilus flavicornis Photo credit Marion Bryce

How many Caddis are there?

200 UK species have been described of 12 000 world wide

  • Phryganeidae, great sedges, can have a wingspan of 8cm

Phryganea bipunctata

             Phryganea bipunctata Photo credit Marion Bryce

  • Limnephilidae, cinnamon sedges, are also known as northern caddis
  • Leptoceridae are called long-horned caddis
  • Microcaddis, Hydroptilidae are very small (less than 4mm), so small you can easily miss them and may be unaware of their existence

Marion Bryce 16 March 2015

List of Long Eaton Caddis all IDs by Stuart Crofts
Hydroptilidae Agraylea multipunctata Salt and pepper microcaddis
Leptoceridae Athripsodes albifrons Longhorn sedge
Leptoceridae Athripsodes aterrimus Longhorn sedge
Leptoceridae Athripsodes cinereus Longhorn sedge
Leptoceridae Ceraclea dissimilis Scaly wing sedge
Leptoceridae Ceraclea fulva Scaly wing sedge
Leptoceridae Ceraclea senilis Scaly wing sedge
Polycentropodidae Cyrnus flavidus Yellow spotted sedge
Polycentropodidae Cyrnus trimaculatus Yellow spotted sedge
Glossosomatidae, Glossosoma boltoni Little brown short horned sedge
Hydropsychidae Hydropsyche contubernalis Marbled sedge
Hydropsychidae Hydropsyche pellucidula Spotted sedge
Hydroptilidae Hydroptila sparsa Microcaddis
Lepidostomatidae Lepidostoma hirtum Small silver sedge
Leptoceridae Leptocerus tinaeformis Longhorn sedge
Limnephilidae Limnephilus affinis Cinnamon Sedge
Limnephilidae Limnephilus auricula Cinnamon Sedge
Limnephilidae Limnephilus binotatus Cinnamon Sedge
Limnephilidae Limnephilus flavicornis Cinnamon Sedge
Limnephilidae Limnephilus lunatus Cinnamon Sedge
Limnephilidae Limnephilus marmoratus Cinnamon Sedge
Molannidae Molanna angustata Grey chequered sedge
Leptoceridae Mystacides azurea Longhorn sedge
Leptoceridae Mystacides longicornis Longhorn sedge
Leptoceridae Mystacides nigra Longhorn sedge
Polycentropidae Neureclipsis bimaculata Little red twilight sedge
Leptoceridae Oecetis ochracea Longhorn sedge
Phryganeidae Phryganea bipunctata Great red sedge
Phryganeidae Phryganea grandis Great red sedge
Polycentropidae Polycentropus flavomaculatus Yellow spotted sedge
Limnephilidae Potamophylax latipennis Large cinnamon sedge
Psychomyiidae Psychomyia pusilla Small yellow sedge
Psychomyiidae Tinodes assimilis Small red sedge
Psychomyiidae Tinodes waeneri Small red sedge


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