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Caddisfly Genus Psilotreta (Dark Blue Sedges)

Taxonomic Navigation -?-
» Family
» Genus Psilotreta (Dark Blue Sedges)
Species in PsilotretaNumber of SpecimensNumber of Pictures
Psilotreta frontalisDark Blue Sedge00
Psilotreta labidaDark Blue Sedge220

4 species aren't included.
Common Name
MatchCommon Name
***Dark Blue Sedges
Pictures Below
It pays to learn the quirks of this very abundant and unusual genus. Its hatches stumped Gary LaFontaine for years before he learned their subtleties, prompting him to give the most common species, Psilotreta labida, the nickname "Slap-in-the-Face Caddis."  

Where & When


Time Of Year (?): Mid-June to late July

The most important species are found in the East. They often emerge together with the large Green Drake mayflies, Ephemera guttulata, which can be reduced to a masking hatch (Masking hatch: When two types of insects are on the water simultaneously and the trout are feeding on the less noticeable one, the more prominent insect (usually brighter and/or larger but less abundant) is known as a masking hatch.) when these caddisflies are thick.

Hatching Behavior


Time Of Day (?): Evening

Because the larvae gather in large numbers on certain rocks to pupate, fishing the emergence demands unusual tactics from the angler. Gary LaFontaine describes them in Caddisflies:

A hundred or more cases might be stacked in layers on the underside of a particular rock. When the emergence period begins the pupae pop continually from this area. They escape from the cocoon and wash out from under the rock, creating a food line for trout on the downstream side of the pupation site. During the peak evening hours the emerging pupae may create feeding situations in only a small part of the stream. They attract trout into these prime zones (which fly fishermen can find beforehand by searching for the clusters of pupae).

Egg-Laying Behavior


Time Of Day: Evening

The females flop onto the surface and flitter around in a non-stop commotion there until they're through laying their eggs. Trout key on the fluttering insects and reportedly reject still imitations.

Larva & Pupa Biology


Diet: Omnivorous

Substrate: Silt, sand, or gravel

Environmental Tolerance: Prefers cool streams

Shelter Type: Horn-shaped sand and gravel cases
These are burrowing caddisflies, and their cases are extremely strong. They live in the silt, sand, or gravel for most of their lives, where they are not vulnerable to trout. They expose themselves only when they are ready to pupate, when they congregate on specific rocks.

Pictures of 2 Caddisfly Specimens in the Genus Psilotreta:


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