www.photomacrography.net :: View topic - Caddisfly larvae in Idaho
www.photomacrography.net Forum Index
An online community dedicated to the practices of photomacrography, close-up and macro photography, and photomicrography.
Photomacrography Front Page Amateurmicrography Front Page
Old Forums/Galleries
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
Caddisfly larvae in Idaho

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    www.photomacrography.net Forum Index -> Nature Photography -- Macro and Close-up
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17697
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:10 pm    Post subject: Caddisfly larvae in Idaho Reply with quote

Skipping to the end of the story, here are some caddisfly larvae, live and feeding in running water.



Location is the Lochsa River at White Sands campground, near Lolo Pass on the Idaho-Montana border, approximately 4100 ft elevation, August 17.

Case length of larvae about 10 mm.

What I first saw were these funny square cases, sticking straight out from rocks just above water level next to the river. (Look in the extreme bottom right of the picture.)



On closer inspection, they looked like this.



I'm pretty sure that those are caddisfly larvae in image 1, and the left-over cases of same in images 2 and 3. But these shots are basically "drive-by macro" -- I camped only one night at this spot and had no opportunity to follow these things through their development cycle. I'm only taking it on faith and general similarity that all three images show the same beasts, and I have no idea how the cases might transition from the flat posture shown in image #1 to the perpendicular posture shown in #2 and #3.

Any subject-matter experts out there, please feel free to chime in with additional or contradictory information about these things. Very Happy

--Rik

Technical: Canon A710 IS camera, no accessories. Image #1 was shot with on-camera strobe, no diffuser, cropped to about 40% of field width.
Edit: to correct technical info.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Cyclops



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Posts: 2968
Location: North East of England

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great shots Rik! In the first one it looks as tho the camera is under water! Nice job!
_________________
Canon 30D | Canon IXUS 265HS | Cosina 100mm f3.5 macro | EF 75-300 f4.5-5.6 USM III | EF 50 f1.8 II | Slik 88 tripod | Apex Practicioner monocular microscope
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
P_T



Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Posts: 461
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first photo made them look like they came straight out of a monster film. What is that yellow stuff in the first image and what are they doing sticking their legs out like that?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2528
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Close-up photos of the bits and pieces used by the different spp. of caddisfly larvae would make an interesting montage.
Really have no idea what these are but they do fit some descriptions of Brachycentrus spp.:
cases square in cross-section; made of sand or pieces of plant debris; found in running water including cold mountain streams. 34 spp. widespread.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 6911
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caddis larva are always fascinating to come across. I am amazed at how they construct these tiny to small cases with such delicacy and accuracy.

I had a few of these in a white plastic tray once, while out seining a mountain stream for various benthos, to see just how many different ones I could find. When placed in the tray with other caddis and benthos, they proved to be quite aggressive. Not only aggressive to other benthos but towards each other as well. One caddis I noticed, was taking on a very large Stone fly nymph that I had placed in the tray! Wonderful and interesting photos there Rik, things like this always seem to capture my attention. Very Happy
_________________
However, while there is grace where in all that I might live, while there is still breath in my being, while I may or may not accomplish anything more in life than to be living, I shall reflect upon the past, applying it to the present, for to possibly perceive to a near certainty, the outcome of the future.

Ken 2014
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
P_T



Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Posts: 461
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's also fascinating how they make square boxes. I thought it would've been hexagonal.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17697
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the compliments, questions, and added info!

Cyclops wrote:
In the first one it looks as tho the camera is under water!

It does, doesn't it? The actual setup was that the camera was positioned a couple of inches above the water, looking a little bit downward into a smooth flow. The surface of the water had moving waves, but with flash and some good luck, I got a few shots that were looking through clear "windows" between the waves.

P_T wrote:
What is that yellow stuff in the first image and what are they doing sticking their legs out like that?

The yellow stuff is a slippery film that grows on underwater surfaces. I presume it's a combination of bacteria and algae, probably teeming with protozoa too.

The legs are probably being held out to snag passing prey or other organic particles for food. Various caddisflies have different diets and methods for collecting their food. Some of them even spin underwater nets. Just from appearances, I'd guess that the strategy of these critters is to sit still and let the river bring food to them in big chunks.

--Rik
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
augusthouse



Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1195
Location: New South Wales Australia

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, they are initially mobile and then form small sky-scraper cities. They certainly appear to be well attached to the rock.

Quote:
A basic distinction of pupation for almost all case-making species is that larvae undergo a metamorphosis within their case, thereby retaining the energy and silk protein already invested in the portable case. Pupation behaviour is indicated when the larvae fastens the case with silk to a firm substrate such as rock or large piece of wood.


Page 59 link below.

Caddisflies - The Underwater Architects


Craig
_________________
To use a classic quote from 'Antz' - "I almost know exactly what I'm doing!"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17697
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds right.

Now notice that in image #3, you can see that the center case appears to still be capped, while the rightmost case appears to have been capped at one time, but now the cap is popped loose and sitting crosswise in the wide end of the case.

I presume that these particular cases are now above water only because the water level has dropped. The reference that you found (great reference!) does mention death of pupae due to receding water levels. I'm only speculating, but it's possible that what we're seeing here are a couple of cases (left and right) where the occupants successfully completed development and got out before the water dropped, and one case (center) where that didn't happen.

--Rik
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
beetleman



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 3578
Location: Southern New Hampshire USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent photos Rik. Could they actually relocate themselves above the waterline and change to a vertical position for final development?
_________________
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17697
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beetleman wrote:
Could they actually relocate themselves above the waterline and change to a vertical position for final development?

Don't know. The reference mentions only pupation underwater.

But that upright posture is a head-scratcher in any case.

The larvae I found were located in pretty rapid flow and I think it would be difficult or impossible for them to hold an upright position against it.

So either I'm wrong about that, or they found a quieter place to pupate, or they did it above water as you suggest, or the upright posture is something that happens as a side effect of drying out, or something else that I haven't thought of yet. That last one is always a good way to bet. Wink

--Rik
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 6911
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I have read, caddis pupate underwater and explode to the surface as adults, driving tout wild! Some caddis make it some don’t, either to adulthood or at the mercy of the trout. As for them standing up like this, they look to be quite large from those that I have seen here but standing up like this may facilitate the rapid escape to the surface. Probably a difference in species east to west. However, those that don’t make it to adulthood are more than likely the reason for mass egg laying, to ensure the survival of the species. From what little I have read on insects in general, not all hatch successfully. For the most part of what I have observed while out fishing, it seems Caddis and Mayflies attach themselves just inside the boundary layer that occurs between the substrate (rock) and the flow of the water across it. It is much calmer there and they are less likely to be swept away by the faster moving current.

Tight lines, ya' all!Very Happy
_________________
However, while there is grace where in all that I might live, while there is still breath in my being, while I may or may not accomplish anything more in life than to be living, I shall reflect upon the past, applying it to the present, for to possibly perceive to a near certainty, the outcome of the future.

Ken 2014
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 5787
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting. I was unaware of the square design. In the UK I believe we get stick versions or stone versions, nothing so geometric as square.

Harold
_________________
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
PaulFurman



Joined: 24 Oct 2009
Posts: 595
Location: SF, CA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NikonUser wrote:
Close-up photos of the bits and pieces used by the different spp. of caddisfly larvae would make an interesting montage.


When I was a kid in Colorado, at summer camp near Steamboat Springs, these guys used garnets in their protective tubes. Garnet is like a poor man's ruby but I was impressed!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    www.photomacrography.net Forum Index -> Nature Photography -- Macro and Close-up All times are GMT - 7 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group