Updates from March 9, 2011
Hydropsyche californica (Spotted Sedge) Caddisfly Larva
View 5 PicturesSize - 14 mm
Condition - preserved
Habitat - cobble bottom, moderate flow run, at a depth of approx. 1 1/2 feet.
Key Characters - pair of large prosternal sclerites (Sclerite: A hard plate of chitinous material, such as those that form the exoskeletons of arthropods, uninterrupted by cracks or sutures.)
This is a very common taxon at this location. I collected using a kick net. In life, it is bright olive green ventrally, shading to a dull olive at its dorsal (Dorsal: Top.) abdominal surfaces. In the hand, the legs, thoraxic regions, and head appear medium chocolate brown. The stark contrast of the thoraxic plate's dark edges and light legs are effects of preserving. The plumouse anal hooks were duck down gray, not the color of the gills as appears in the preserved specimen.
The Lower Yuba River is a good habitat for this species, being a larger river with an open canopy. The Feather River just to the north of the Yuba system also finds H. californica in abundance. The other common Hydropsyche species in the area, Hydropsyche occidentalis, seems to prefer smaller, shaded streams.
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