British Insects: the families of Caddis flies (Trichoptera)


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Limnephilidae Kol.


Adults. Antennae about as long as the fore-wings (if shorter, only slightly so); fairly stout to slender. Ocelli present. Maxillary palps scarcely pubescent, 3 segmented (in males), or 5 segmented (in females, similar in form in both sexes). The maxillary palps of males 3 segmented. Maxillary palps filiform, with cylindrical segments; the terminal segment inflexible, not multi-articulated, not annulated, and not much elongated (at least in the female). The mesoscutum without warts. The scutellum exhibiting a pair of warts.

The fore-wings (7–)10–20(–25) mm long; with a discoidal cell; apical forks 4 (1, 2, 3 and 5). The hind-wings wider than the fore-wings; with a discoidal cell (usually), or without a discoidal cell; apical forks 4 (1, 2, 3 and 5).

Front tibia 0 spurred, or 1 spurred. Middle tibia 1–3 spurred. Hind tibia 1–4 spurred.

Larvae. The larvae constructing and living in transportable cases (the cases varied, of sand, sticks, leaves, shells, or mixtures); eruciform. The thorax with a forwardly-directed prosternal horn between the first pair of legs. The mesonotum sclerotized; entire, or divided longitudinally into two sclerites. The metanotum sclerotized; divided into six sclerites. Abdominal segment 1 with retractable papillae; 8 without a lateral comb of fine spicules. The larva with the terminal abdominal prolegs fused basally, forming an ostensible tenth segment.

Comments. In the aberrant genus Eniocyla, the female has only vestigial wings, and the larvae live often far from water, in moss around tree roots.

British representation. 54 species. Genera: Allogamus, Anabolia, Apatania, Chaetopteryx, Drusus, Ecclisopteryx, Eniocyla, Glyphotaelius, Halesus, Grammotaulius, Hydatophylax, Ironoquia, Limnephilus, Melampophylax, Mesophylax, Potamophylax, Rhadicoleptus, Stenophylax.

Illustrations. • Limnephilus elegans Curtis (Elegant Grannom, Caddis-fly: B. Ent. 488). • Limnephilus elegans (B. Ent. 488, legend+text). • Limnephilus elegans (B. Ent. 488, text cont.). • Drusus annulatus Stephens (as Anabolia annulata): Stephens VI, 1835. • Limnephilus: fore-wings of 18 species. • Wings of assorted Trichoptera. • Glyphotaelius and Limnephilus: larvae and cases. • Anabolia: larva and case. • Apatania auricula: Stephens VI, 1835 (as Glossosoma fimbriata). • ‘Grammotaulius nigripunctatus’: Stephens VI. 1835 (as Mormonia nigripunctata).

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. British insects: the families of Caddis flies (Trichoptera). Version: 29th December 2011.’.