Troutnut.com Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

Caddisfly Species Helicopsyche borealis (Speckled Peter)

Taxonomic Navigation -?-
Common Name
MatchCommon Name
***Speckled Peter
Pictures Below
This is the only important trout stream species of Helicopsyche. It has an unusual wing characteristic, described by Gary LaFontaine in Caddisflies:

The adult appears different in flight from other caddisflies because the top set of wings is attached to the bottom by a row of hooks, so the four wings beat together, not as two spread-out sets.
  

Where & When


Regions: East, Midwest, West

Time Of Year (?): Early May through July

Preferred Waters: Rivers or lakes; best in spring creeks and large rivers

The emergence of this species lasts a few weeks in any given location. It begins in the East in early May and lasts through June, while in the West it begins in mid-June and lasts through early July.

Hatching Behavior


Time Of Day (?): Evening


Egg-Laying Behavior


Time Of Day: Evening

LaFontaine gives a slightly confusing account of the ovipositing behaivor of this species in Caddisflies, suggesting that they may flutter around on or near the water's surface looking for solid objects to attach their eggs to, or may drop them in the water. Swisher and Richards give a clearer picture in Selective Trout:

During egg laying, the females float in the surface close to the banks, crawl underwater, and flop on the surface to oviposit. They then ride the water serenely in the normal resting position, and trout take them with gentle rises.

Larva & Pupa Biology


Diet: Algae, detritus (Detritus: Small, loose pieces of decaying organic matter underwater.), animal matter

Environmental Tolerance: Very tolerant: can thrive in both cold water and hot springs up to 110F

Shelter Type: Coiled sand case shaped like a snail shell

Pictures of 2 Caddisfly Specimens in the Species Helicopsyche borealis:

Helicopsyche borealis (Speckled Peter) Caddisfly AdultHelicopsyche borealis (Speckled Peter) Caddisfly Adult View 7 PicturesThis one keys pretty easily to the Helicopsychidae family, of which there is only one genus in North America, and one species reported in this general area.
Collected July 31, 2020 from the Henry's Fork of the Snake River in Idaho
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on August 17, 2020
Helicopsyche borealis (Speckled Peter) Caddisfly PupaHelicopsyche borealis (Speckled Peter) Caddisfly Pupa View 13 PicturesI'm calling this one very tentatively Helicopsyche borealis, with some big caveats that I might be wrong.

It seems to key fairly easily to Helicopsychidae, except at the last couplet in Merritt & Cummins (5th ed) it's supposed to have “anal processes short and straight, each with several mesal (Mesal: Toward the middle.) setae (Seta: Little hairs on insects.) and 2 long apical (Apical: Close to the apex; tip or end.) setae (Seta: Little hairs on insects.),” whereas this one has VERY short, straight processes with 3 long apical (Apical: Close to the apex; tip or end.) setae (Seta: Little hairs on insects.) and no mesal (Mesal: Toward the middle.) ones.

Additionally, the only species of Helicopsychidae documented in this region is Helicopsyche borealis, which is supposed to emerge much later in the summer.
Collected April 9, 2021 from the Yakima River in Washington
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on April 12, 2021

Your Thoughts On Helicopsyche borealis:

You must log in at the top of the page to post. If you haven't registered yet, it's this easy:

Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.
Top 10 Fly Hatches
Top Gift Shop Designs
Top Insect Specimens
Miscellaneous Sites