Caddisflies, Pacific Northwest
The October Caddisfly is widely distributed in freshwater habitats throughout the world. The October caddisfly is quite abundant on Vancouver Island. October 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.
October caddisflies are aquatic insects associated with a wide range of freshwater habitats. Oxygen concentration, associated with water velocity, is important to their larvae, as is the chemical content of the water.
The larvae play an important role in the aquatic community, reducing plant growth and disposing of animal and plant debris. Adult october caddisflies are incapable of feeding on solids and instead imbibe nectar from flowers.
Freshwater fish, particularly trout, feed on the larvae and swimming pupae. Trout, birds, frogs, spiders, dragonflies, and bats all feed on adults.
Adults are characterized by four wings that bear hairs on the membrane or prominent veins or both. The head and thorax are also hairy. The antennae are long and slender and are about the length of the anterior wing.