This family is one of the primitive caddisflies of the Rhyacophiloidea superfamily. However, they are not free-living like their better known cousins the Rhyacophilidae (Green Rockworm). Instead they build rounded "turtle" shaped cases that do not surround the larvae but are rather attached to the rock surface at their margins. Underneath is a sling made of secretions upon which the larvae ride, hence the common name Saddle-case Makers. There are four genera of possible interest but only one is generally recognized as important to anglers. See Glossosoma (Little Brown Short-horned Caddis) for details. The other three are so tiny that they are also called Pseudo-microcaddis.
» Family Glossosomatidae (Saddle-case Makers)
3 genera aren't included.
Protoptila (Tiny Spotted Short-horned Caddis) is rarely important in trout streams and is generally found in warmer, larger water than the other two genera.
Agapetus (Tiny black Short-horned Caddis) is quite common in many northern streams.
Matrioptila is an extremely tiny southern genus.
Pictures of 2 Saddle-case Maker Specimens:
3 Underwater Pictures of Saddle-case Makers:
Date AddedOct 4, 2006
CameraPENTAX Optio WPi
These are glossosomatids, Jason. They are probably Glossosoma nigrior
, though it is possible that we are looking at mixed species. The ones to the right with their aggregate of similar sized grains are classic Glossosoma
, while the ones to the left with the large anchor pebbles could possibly be Agapetus
. Regardless, they're all commonly referred to as saddle case makers.In this picture: Caddisfly Family Glossosomatidae (Saddle-case Makers).
Date AddedJul 1, 2006
CameraPENTAX Optio WPi
Recent Discussions of Glossosomatidae
Glossosoma intermedium or nigrior 5 Replies »
Last reply on Jul 31, 2020 by Creno
Caught and photographed in the Upper Midwest on May 12, 2020. I resized my original photo for the website.Replypupa color 7 Replies »
(User-posted images are only viewable in the forum section.)
Last reply on Apr 22, 2008 by LittleJ
I was thinking very dark olive w/a ginger shuck. Sound right to any of you?ReplyAgapetus are EVERYWHERE!!!! 1 Reply »
Last reply on Apr 12, 2007 by GONZO
just wanted to spread the word about agapetus. many trout streams have healthy populations of agapetus and there is no reason that some of these species are important to early season emerger/dry fly fishing. small (#18-22) black caddis dry or emerger patterns will mimic them nicely, as well as Dolophilodes Wormaldia and Chimarra.
my colleagues are describing 12 new species of agapetus, mostly from the southeastern united states. i would encourage troutnuts to attempt to collect and rear agapetus pupae. it is pretty easy to do, find pupating cases and remove them from the rocks using forceps and into a small jar of water. If you use a jar with a small amount of water (just a little bit more than required to cover the pupae, removing the small stones around the puparium), then they will pupate in a refrigerator (preferably 60 C or so). Leave the lid loose to allow oxygen to equilibrate with the pupae. This also works for Rhyacophila, which build a similar puparium. We are describing new species of both Agapetus and Rhyacophila and it would be great to have specimens from Troutnuts!!! if interested in doing this, and it is time, email me firstname.lastname@example.org You can send them to me in alcohol, who knows what else is out there!!!!
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