Caddisflies (Order: Trichoptera)

A photograph of a caddisfly larvae

A photograph of a a caddisfly larvae.
Photograph by Aka licensed under Creative Commons.

The Trichoptera, or Caddisflies, are an order of insects, somewhat related to moths, and of which there are just under 200 species in the British Isles. The name means 'hairy-winged', and indeed they differ from moths in having hairs rather than scales on their wings, amongst other differences.

Main characteristics of Caddisflies

For collecting the adults, other than those attracted by light, a net is needed, whilst a pond net is used for collecting the early stages in water. Adults can also be found by using a sweep net through suitable vegetation, or by searching structures near water. Larger species can be pinned and set in the way Lepidoptera are preserved, but smaller species may be better preserved in a suitable liquid.

Species found in still water are usually easy to rear through to adulthood, but those from running water are more troublesome.

Essential reading from the Amateur Entomologists' Society

The Beginner's Guide to Caddis

The AES published the Beginner's Guide to Caddis by Ian Wallace in the February 2003 issue of the Bulletin. It is available here as a free download.

Beginner's Guide to Caddis 537K, PDF

A to Z of insects

Back to Insect Orders.