Pupae of this family crawl out on shore to emerge.
Females lay their eggs on the surface, and they may run across the surface to the bank. This behavior may be found throughout the family but it has earned the common name Travelling Sedges for the stillwater genus Banksiola.
Larva & Pupa Biology
Diet: Smaller aquatic insects; other food when small
Current Speed: Still or slow
Shelter Type: Leaf or bark
This is the most primitive family of case-making caddisflies, and the larvae may easily enter or leave their cases. I caught two of them in my collection container fighting over one case in a really funny video.
Pictures of 2 Caddisfly Specimens in the Family Phryganeidae:
Phryganeidae Caddisfly LarvaView 5 PicturesThis "specimen" is actually two caddis larvae fighting each other over a case. The case is a hollow tube; one larva would go in the back end, presumably bite the other, and chase it out. The invader crawled forward into the case while the other one fled, and then it went around to the back and bit the first one. They did this several times, and I recorded it on video.
My understanding is the two most important species are B. selina (East) and B. crotchi (West). Supposedly of minor importance in the East but very important in certain areas of the West. Where they do occur they seem to be very abundant. Current thought in entomological circles is that selina is now synonymous with crotchi.
It's far and away the most important large stillwater caddis I've come across because of its hatching behavior. Unlike other large lake dwelling caddis I've observed, they seem to exhibit all three traits that make them valuable to anglers. It's activity is diurnal, they emerge in open water, and they do this synchronized in large numbers over several hours. It gets even better! They don't fly off but scamper across the surface until they reach shore. This trip may cover a distance covered in yards not feet (once watched one go an estimated 50 yds into shore before I lost site, hoping to see a big rise that never happened...
The best fishing is on soft evenings. Use stiff tippets and any number of green bodied deer hair winged dries in the appropriate size. Spot casting to rises or attempts to lead them usually proves futile as the fish are usually covering water pretty fast. What works for me is to cast fan fashion as far as is comfortable, stick the rod under the casting arm and strip back with both hands to avoid pauses in the retrieve while matching the speed of the natural. Hold the line delicately because the takes can be vicious! Experience has shown the fish are more selective to the appropriate motion than differentiation size or even color of pattern. Best are those designed to skate leaving the proper "V" wake and that float well.
For reasons unknown (maybe due to atmospherics messing with a clean emergence?) they will sometimes swim around in a circle whirligig fashion. On evenings when this behavior predominates, the pupa are a more consistent bet throughout the hatch, either swam shallow with a strip retrieve or raised from the bottom using a long tippet. Hard to beat the traditional Carey Special in the appropriate color for this. Unless of course, somebody can come up with a way to make their dry fly swim around in circles.
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Larvae: Many classes of aquatic insects, such as caddisflies, midges, craneflies, dobsonflies, alderflies, and many more, are known as "larvae" rather than "nymphs" in their juvenile stages. They have mostly soft bodies rather than hard exoskeletons. These insects also advance through a "pupa" stage before reaching adulthood.
Pupae: Any insect which spends most of its juvenile lifetime as a larva first becomes a pupa for a time before emerging as a fully grown adult. Depending on the species, the pupal form can be very important for fly fishermen to imitate.