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Caddisfly Family Brachycentridae (Apple Caddis and Grannoms)

Taxonomic Navigation -?-
» Family Brachycentridae (Apple Caddis and Grannoms)
Genus in BrachycentridaeNumber of SpecimensNumber of Pictures
AmiocentrusLittle Western Weedy-Water Sedges00
BrachycentrusGrannoms543
MicrosemaLittle Grannoms15

2 genera aren't included.
Common Name
Pictures Below
Brachycentrus is one of the most important caddisfly genera in America. Microsema is smaller and rarely, if ever, significant. Amiocentrus aspilus can be an important Western hatch.

Hatching Behavior


Brachycentridae caddisflies emerge on the surface. The pupae may drift for 10 to 20 feet on the surface, but once they escape their shucks (
Here's an underwater view of the pupal shucks of several already-emerged Brachycentrus numerosus caddisflies.
Here's an underwater view of the pupal shucks of several already-emerged Brachycentrus numerosus caddisflies.
Shuck: The shed exoskeleton left over when an insect molts into its next stage or instar. Most often it describes the last nymphal or pupal skin exited during emergence into a winged adult.
)
they quickly take to the air, so pupal imitations are ideal.

The emergence of most species is unusually concentrated, causing good rises of trout.

Egg-Laying Behavior


Females may dive underwater or fall spent (Spent: The wing position of many aquatic insects when they fall on the water after mating. The wings of both sides lay flat on the water. The word may be used to describe insects with their wings in that position, as well as the position itself.) on the surface to lay their eggs.

Larva & Pupa Biology


Diet: Algae, plankton

Shelter Type: Plant matter or rock, arranged in circular or rectangular cross-section

Brachycentridae Fly Fishing Tips


Swisher and Richards note in Selective Trout that the males are a hook size smaller than the females. This may not be important during emergence, but one should certainly use the larger size during the all-female egg-laying.

Pictures of 6 Caddisfly Specimens in the Family Brachycentridae:

Specimen Page:12
Brachycentrus appalachia (Apple Caddis) Caddisfly AdultBrachycentrus appalachia (Apple Caddis) Caddisfly Adult View 13 PicturesI captured this specimen in the same color as this photograph, during its egg-laying flight. The emergers are much lighter.
Collected May 13, 2007 from the West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on May 18, 2007
Brachycentrus (Grannoms) Caddisfly PupaBrachycentrus (Grannoms) Caddisfly Pupa View 10 PicturesThe green blob contained in this case is a pupa in the early stages of transformation from larva to the final stage we generally picture and imitate. This specimen and several like it were fixed to a rock I picked up, and each one had the front of its case sealed off, protecting the helpless pupa from predation. It's neat to see the insect part-way through such a radical transformation.

It was very hard to extract this thing from its case, so there's a bit of extra goo near the head from where I accidentally punctured it.
Collected April 14, 2007 from Cayuta Creek in New York
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on April 22, 2007
Brachycentrus appalachia (Apple Caddis) Caddisfly AdultBrachycentrus appalachia (Apple Caddis) Caddisfly Adult View 9 PicturesThe wings of this specimen were pale tan, almost white, when I collected it, and the body was of the lighter "apple green" from which this species gets its common name. Everything turned much darker by the time I got it home and under the camera.

The wings look even darker in some of these pictures because the background is black and the wings are unusually translucent. You can see that in one of the pictures where the body easily through the wings. They're really a light, translucent gray, which is still far from the pale tan of the same fly when it was freshly emerged.
Collected May 15, 2007 from the West Branch of the Delaware River in New York
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on May 18, 2007
Specimen Page:12

4 Underwater Pictures of Brachycentridae Caddisflies:

Underwater Photo Page:12
This picture from below shows a stillborn Ephemerella subvaria (Hendrickson) dun drifting on the surface amidst a number of shed pupal skins from Brachycentrus caddisflies which were heavily hatching that day.  In this picture: Mayfly Species Ephemerella subvaria (Hendrickson) and Caddisfly Species Brachycentrus appalachia (Apple Caddis). From the East Branch of the Delaware River in New York.
This picture from below shows a stillborn (
This stillborn Ephemerella subvaria dun is trapped in its shuck.
This stillborn Ephemerella subvaria dun is trapped in its shuck.
Stillborn: In fly fishing, a stillborn insect is one which got stuck in its nymphal or pupal shuck during emergence and floats helplessly on the surface instead of flying away. It is a specific class of cripple, although it is sometimes used interchangeably with that term.
)
Ephemerella subvaria (Hendrickson) dun drifting on the surface amidst a number of shed pupal skins from Brachycentrus caddisflies which were heavily hatching that day.

In this picture: Mayfly Species Ephemerella subvaria (Hendrickson) and Caddisfly Species Brachycentrus appalachia (Apple Caddis).
Date TakenApr 19, 2006
Date AddedApr 22, 2006
AuthorTroutnut
CameraPENTAX Optio WPi
Shown Full Size
AddEmail
A Brachycentrus "Apple Caddis" pupa scoots around in the surface film.  Apparently it had some difficulty emerging, so I was able to slip my camera underneath it and take a picture from below.  In this picture: Caddisfly Species Brachycentrus appalachia (Apple Caddis). From the East Branch of the Delaware River in New York.
A Brachycentrus "Apple Caddis" pupa scoots around in the surface film. Apparently it had some difficulty emerging, so I was able to slip my camera underneath it and take a picture from below.

In this picture: Caddisfly Species Brachycentrus appalachia (Apple Caddis).
Date TakenApr 19, 2006
Date AddedApr 22, 2006
AuthorTroutnut
CameraPENTAX Optio WPi
This Brachycentrus "Apple Caddis" struggled more than its kin in escaping its pupal skin, enabling me to take an underwater picture of it from directly below.  This is sort of a trout's eye view, but I used the flash for the picture so the transparent shuck appears far brighter than it really is.  In this picture: Caddisfly Species Brachycentrus appalachia (Apple Caddis). From the East Branch of the Delaware River in New York.
This Brachycentrus "Apple Caddis" struggled more than its kin in escaping its pupal skin, enabling me to take an underwater picture of it from directly below. This is sort of a trout's eye view, but I used the flash for the picture so the transparent shuck (
Here's an underwater view of the pupal shucks of several already-emerged Brachycentrus numerosus caddisflies.
Here's an underwater view of the pupal shucks of several already-emerged Brachycentrus numerosus caddisflies.
Shuck: The shed exoskeleton left over when an insect molts into its next stage or instar. Most often it describes the last nymphal or pupal skin exited during emergence into a winged adult.
)
appears far brighter than it really is.

In this picture: Caddisfly Species Brachycentrus appalachia (Apple Caddis).
Date TakenApr 19, 2006
Date AddedApr 22, 2006
AuthorTroutnut
CameraPENTAX Optio WPi
Underwater Photo Page:12

Recent Discussions of Brachycentridae

Brachycentrus americanus on the Lower Sacramento River California
Posted by Troutguide on Oct 29, 2016 in the species Brachycentrus americanus
I believe this is the species found in sometimes very large numbers on the Lower Sacramento River in the Redding area. Ten years ago it was present in such large numbers that fishing a fly on the bottom resulted in frequently hooking one of these caddis still in its case. Along with other aquatic insects their numbers have declined to a fraction of once seen. I don't believe the egg Sac dropped by the females to be olive , instread I have seen it to be a bright green. The females seem to oviposit close to the edge of flowing water and not midstream.
Replygrannom caddis 56 Replies »
Posted by Goose on Sep 26, 2006 in the genus Brachycentrus
Last reply on Feb 1, 2016 by Martinlf
Hi All! I was reading through the site and I happened upon the Grannom (Apple) Caddis page, which made me wonder. Here in PA it is called The Mother's Day Caddis, I believe. Adults, which trout rarely feed on, are imitated with black or peacock herl bodies. The pupa, or emrgers I guess, we imitate with a wet fly. It has a peacock herl body and brown hackle for the legs, etc. in a size 14. Is this the same Grannon as the apple Grannom? Just curious!
I still get confused by these caddis and I'm trying to narrow down a list of caddis patterns and colors to cover the largest percentage of the hatches throughout the year.
Replycaddis fly phonics guide 6 Replies »
Posted by SlapNuts on Oct 30, 2009
Last reply on Oct 31, 2009 by Taxon
I have trouble pronouncing the scientific names of most caddis flies. Does anyone know where I can find a phonics name list or guide.

Example Ephemerella ef uh mare el uh
ReplyGrannoms 11 Replies »
Posted by Grannom on Apr 29, 2007
Last reply on Apr 26, 2008 by Grannom
First, an introduction. I am 15 years old and live in Northwestern Pa. I have been reading the forums for quite a few years now, as they have helped me expand my knowledge.
I am interested in learning as much as possible about the grannom caddis. I would appreciate any information that you could offer about them, along with possible patterns and life cycle information. Thank you in advance.


Mike
ReplyWhat's happening here? 5 Replies »
Posted by Troutnut on Jun 5, 2007 in the genus Brachycentrus
Last reply on Jun 6, 2007 by Troutnut
Check out the two streamside pictures on my Brachycentrus page. I found these clusters of dead grannoms in a few different spots along a Catskill river on May 12th, while many members of (seemingly) the same species were in the air laying eggs and occasionally falling spent and being eaten by trout.

Have you ever seen these clusters? What's the explanation?
Reply
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