Caddis Flies

Caddis Flies

 

The Latin name for Caddis Flies is Trichoptera and there are over 7000 species worldwide and around 200 species in the UK.  Caddis Flies can be found almost anywhere where there is fresh water as they favour a habitat of lakes, ponds and streams.  Caddis Flies look rather similar to moths.  They are mostly nocturnal and are a good  food source for Bats, Birds, Trout and Salmon.

Ephemera sp. drying on Equisetum arvense

Caddis fly larvae can be quite destructive to pond plants if their numbers get out of control.  Spinning silk from their mouth parts, they bind small pieces of leaves and stalks which they take from fresh growing or decaying plants, and they wrap this foliage up into a protective cacoon in which they can live in.

When the larvae are fully grown they pupate by attaching pupae to rocks and pebbles, hatching into adults in late spring and early summer.  The newly hatched Caddis Fly then floats to the water surface where they emerge, often in their thousands, producing swarms of adults.  Like many insects the winged adults only live one or two weeks at the most and their sole adult purpose, is to mate and lay eggs in the water thus completing the Caddis Fly life cycle.

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