Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Family Hydropsychidae - Netspinning Caddisflies

caddisfly - Hydropsyche Caddisfly Hydropsychidae, genus Macrostemum - Macrostemum Net-spinning Caddisfly - Hydropsyche Small Moth - Macrostemum Hydropsyche sp.  - female net-spinning caddisfly - Cheumatopsyche unknown insect - Macrostemum
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Trichoptera (Caddisflies)
Suborder Annulipalpia
Superfamily Hydropsychoidea
Family Hydropsychidae (Netspinning Caddisflies)
Explanation of Names
Hydropsychidae Curtis 1835
HYDROPSYCHIDAE: water nymph - from the Greek "hydor" (water) + "psyche" (the soul); in Greek and Roman mythology, Psyche was a beautiful and immortal nymph, the personification of the soul
Numbers
146 species in 10 genera in North America (nearctica.com)
Size
adults 6-19 mm
Identification
adults have 5-segmented maxillary palpi with the terminal segments longer than the preceding ones; ocelli absent; mesonotum lacks warts; front tibiae lack preapical spurs
larvae have rows of bushy abdominal gills; each thoracic segment has a dorsal plate
(How to Know the Insects, Roger Bland 1978)
Range
throughout North America
Habitat
larvae in streams and rivers
adults in nearby vegetation; may be attracted to artificial light
Season
adults from June to August
Food
larvae feed on algae, diatoms, crustaceans, and immature aquatic insects that are swept by the current into their silken nets
Remarks
Hydropsychidae larvae do not build a protective case; they seek shelter in debris and under stones, and spin a concave silken net, facing upstream, at the entrance to their retreat, then position themselves at the downstream end of the net to await prey