Some of them, though, are predacious: they eat other animals. Not only did they eat the eggs, but it was found that caddisfly larvae that were fed newt eggs actually grew larger than those that fed on pond muck alone. Family: Brachycentridae, humpless casemakers. Much like the garter snake, it seems the caddisfly larvae had evolved a defense against tetrodotoxin. Their favorite algae is diatoms, which they scrape off of rocks. Identifying the caddis larva Whereas there are no easy characters to identify groups of caddis adults, several groups of caddis larvae are easy to recognise. Caddisfly larvae live underwater, where they make cases by spinning together stones, sand, leaves and twigs with a silk they secrete from glands around the mouth. Most of the caddisflies are herbivorous--that is, they eat decaying plant tissue and algae. They eat small aquatic vascular plants, nymphs, and larvae. Caddisfly larvae represent an important ecological component of nutrient processing and energy flow in lakes and rivers and provide a food source for a variety of aquatic predators, such as trout and other fish (Resh and Rosenberg, 1984; Johansson, 1991; Wiggins, 1996a). Caddisfly larvae can take a year or two to change into adults. The “caseless” larvae Once they become adults, caddisflies stop feeding to concentrate on breeding, then die after a few weeks. There are four stages of this prolific insect, and those videos below show imitations of the larva and pupa stages...two of my favorite stages to fish! Order: Trichoptera, the caddisflies. As larvae, these tiny creatures forage through the leaf litter and mosses of the woodland floor, feeding on decaying plant matter, slime molds and algae. They eat small aquatic vascular plants, nymphs, and larvae. Damselfly larvae (nymphs) are aquatic, slender, usually drab insects, with 6 thin legs, large eyes, and small wing buds on the back of the thorax. The 3 gills are leaflike or paddlelike and positioned in a tripod configuration at the tip of the abdomen (unlike the gills of the related dragonflies, which are hidden within the tip of the abdomen). After hatching, larval newts retain substantial quantities of TTX and most are unpalatable to predatory dragonfly naiads. But unlike moths, caddisflies spend most of their lives living in the water as larvae, which look like little worms. Size: 0.2-0.5 inch (6-12 mm). Netspinning caddisfly (Hydropsyche simulans). However, even then identification to the species requires a microscope and identification keys, but fortunately, the latter are comparatively inexpensive. Habitat & Habits: Brachycentrid larvae live in streams and build cases which are either 4-sided and like a log-cabin or are cylindrical.Larvae creep around, often clinging to woody debris in the stream. Caddisflies are perhaps the most underappreciated aquatic insect family. The caddisflies, or order Trichoptera, are a group of insects with aquatic larvae and terrestrial adults. These larvae make a silken net on top of rocks and feed on the algae and diatoms that are swept by the current into their nets. There are approximately 14,500 described species, most of which can be divided into the suborders Integripalpia and Annulipalpia on the basis of the adult mouthparts. Family: Brachycentridae, Humpless Casemakers. Most larvae live in these shelters, which can either be fixed or transportable, though a few species are free-swimming and only construct shelters when they’re ready to pupate. It turned out that caddisfly larvae were the only predator that dared eat the eggs. 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