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> > Easier way to get them out of their cases

The Specimen

Brachycentrus (Grannoms) Caddisfly PupaBrachycentrus (Grannoms) Caddisfly Pupa View 10 PicturesThe green blob contained in this case is a pupa in the early stages of transformation from larva to the final stage we generally picture and imitate. This specimen and several like it were fixed to a rock I picked up, and each one had the front of its case sealed off, protecting the helpless pupa from predation. It's neat to see the insect part-way through such a radical transformation.

It was very hard to extract this thing from its case, so there's a bit of extra goo near the head from where I accidentally punctured it.
Collected April 14, 2007 from Cayuta Creek in New York
Added to by on April 22, 2007

The Discussion

DgraciaJanuary 14th, 2009, 7:01 am
Posts: 3Hi Jason,
One of the things I've done forever is carry at least a couple of fairly large (3"-4") darning needles in my vest. You can conveniently carry them inside one of your foam fly boxes or poked into a foam fly patch. Besides making a good fid (tool for opening knots) it also persuades caddis to come out of their cases generally in one piece. If you have the larva in your hand and he hasn't sealed the opening for pupation, you can just insert the blunt end of the needle (the part with the eye in it) in through the back of the case and slowly push. Pretty quickly, he will start coming out the front of the case and you can persuade him to come out entirely without much problem.
You can extract intact examples of the larva or pupa pretty easily with this method. With a pupating caddis, you do need to cut off the sealed opening so the caddis can get out. You have to be pretty careful though, because it's easy to cut off his head if you aren't.
Of course, you won't get those great photos of half-cut open cases, but you don't have to worry about breaking off legs either. I started carrying those needles with me when I was teaching so I could undo "wind knots" more easily, but they are great at persuading caddis to leave their case.
WbranchFebruary 13th, 2013, 4:58 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
This green pupa looks a lot like the Bot fly larvae I've seen being removed from guy's heads on the Animal Planet. Pretty gross when the fly lays it's eggs on someone's head!
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TroutnutFebruary 15th, 2013, 9:00 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
Thanks Dan, I'll try that.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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