Both anglers and entomologists know these diminutive flies as "Microcaddisflies." The term refers to this family specifically, not to all tiny caddisflies. Many are large enough for imitation on small hooks, but some are impossibly small, as tiny as hook size 36.
» Family Hydroptilidae (Microcaddisflies)
(Dibusa, Ithytrichia, Mayatrichia, Neotrichia, Ochrotrichia, Orthotrichia, Palaeagapetus, Paucicalcaria, Rioptila, Stactobiella, Zumatrichia)
Like the Tricorythodes mayflies, Microcaddisflies can be important to trout because of their extreme abundance in certian waters.Hatching BehaviorPupae emerge on the surface, where they struggle for a long time to break through.Egg-Laying BehaviorFemales dive to the bottom to lay their eggs.Larva & Pupa Biology
Diet: Plankton or algae (including filamentous)Hydroptilidae larvae don't build cases until their fifth and last instar (Instar: Many invertebrates molt through dozens of progressively larger and better-developed stages as they grow. Each of these stages is known as an instar. Hard-bodied nymphs typically molt through more instars than soft-bodied larvae.), although they do speed through the first four instars (Instar: Many invertebrates molt through dozens of progressively larger and better-developed stages as they grow. Each of these stages is known as an instar. Hard-bodied nymphs typically molt through more instars than soft-bodied larvae.) in the first two weeks of their lives. In the fifth instar (Instar: Many invertebrates molt through dozens of progressively larger and better-developed stages as they grow. Each of these stages is known as an instar. Hard-bodied nymphs typically molt through more instars than soft-bodied larvae.), their abdomens grow proportionally huge and they build flat cases from a variety of materials. Leucotrichia pictipes, for example, builds oval silk cases which at first are not recognizable as caddis cases at all to anyone not familiar with the species.
Shelter Type: Plant matter, rock, sand, or silk
Pictures of 1 Caddisfly Specimen in the Family Hydroptilidae:
2 Underwater Pictures of Hydroptilidae Caddisflies:
There's a stonefly nymph in the bottom right corner of this picture, but what's really interesting is those white blotches. They're pretty common in my Wisconsin home river river, stuck flat onto the rocks--lots of rocks have a speckled look as a result. They are microcaddis cases, made by larvae of the caddisfly family Hydroptilidae
. These are made by larvae of the subfamily Leucotrichiinae, most likely the genus Leucotrichia
. They spin little flat oval cases of silk tight and immobile against the rocks.In this picture: Caddisfly Species Leucotrichia pictipes (Ring Horn Microcaddis).
Recent Discussions of Hydroptilidae
Tiny Black Caddis hatch, late fall - Nov 26 to be exact_ Spring Creek Southern MO 21 Replies »
Last reply on Dec 11, 2019 by Pdcox
I had not fished Bennett Spring for many years and ended up there on Nov 26. I was not very prepared for the stream's entemology, spoke to someone at the flyshop and went with fishing a midge or two and this was very successful. But it was quite obvious that the trout were feeding on the surface or just under and it wasn't a midge. As the day progressed and late afternoon brought sunshine, a hatch of Tiny Caddis(Black) appeared. I had a size 18 but it wasn't dark enough or small enough. A gent who fished the stream regularly gave me a #24 black Elk Hair(or other hair) caddis. The fish took this fly as a dry off the surface. I am hard pressed to ID this fly aside from Protoptila. This, however, is not a marginally temp spring, the water is consistent flow a cold. The description of the Protoptila indicates that this insect is more a warm water insect. The hatch was occurring right at the spring itself. Any ideas? Reply
Again, this was a size 24 fly, and maybe,just maybe, a 26 or 28 might have been the appropriate size for the insect as there were obvious refusals at the surface.
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