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Caddisflies are an important component of the aquatic insect community. The larvae live in water especially flowing streams and the larvae look much like a caterpillar with few hairs. Adults are live for only a day or two, do not feed, and are attracted to lights at night. The adults look like small moths with long antennae and most of them are drab brown or gray.

Did you ever look down into a pond and see a bundle of sticks moving about? This is the house of a small caddisfly larva. The sticks which make up the material of the caddis worm’s house are glued together with strands of silk. This silk comes out of an opening in the lower lip of the animal.

October Caddisfly, Vancouver Island, BC
October Caddisfly, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

At first, it is soft and sticky, like glue, but it soon hardens. The inside of the caddis worm’s house is smooth because it is lined with this silk. The caddis-worm has a pair of tiny hooks at the end of his body. With these, he fastens himself firmly inside his case. While he is inside his house, the larva is fairly safe.

But if he is hungry, or wants to move about, he must put out his head and his three pairs of legs. When an enemy comes near, the larva will quickly disappear back into his house. The caddisfly larvae are usually hungry and tiny plants or animals are his food. Some of these are too small for us to see without a microscope, but there are many of them living in the water. Some caddisfly larvae eat their neighbors or even other caddisfly larvae.


Beautiful Northern Caddisfly

Bettens Silver Streak Caddisfly, Vancouver Island, BCThe Beautiful Northern Caddisfly can be found near freshwater ponds, and slow broad streams, on foliage, twigs, and tree bark. This is a very common caddisfly on Vancouver Island and can be seen all summer long around our lakes. Read More….



October Caddisfly

October Caddisfly, Vancouver Island, BCThe October Caddisfly is widely distributed in freshwater habitats throughout the world. The October caddisfly is quite abundant on Vancouver Island. October’s caddisflies live several weeks and usually mate on vegetation or rocks surrounding the water. There is generally one complete generation per year. Young larvae hatch within a few days of the eggs being laid. Read More.


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