How do caddisfly larvae hang onto their tubes?

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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Charles Krebs
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Location: Issaquah, WA USA

How do caddisfly larvae hang onto their tubes?

Post by Charles Krebs »

With two hooked prolegs at the rear of the abdomen! They build their tubes with a silk produced from the mouth, and usually it is covered with debris... sand, small sticks, fir needles. They move around quite adeptly, and the tube stays right with them. I removed one to see how they hang on to their tube so tenaciously. Quite obvious.

Top image: Olympus 4X. Lower image:Olympus 40X



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Post by rjlittlefield »

Charlie, these images are such a treat! :D

Sometimes I think we ought to start up a "Stump Mr. Krebs" Challenge of the Week. The idea would be that everybody kicks in their most outrageous idea for a subject that can't possibly be photogenic, we all pick one, and then of course your part is to go demonstrate otherwise. 8) The size of the award would depend on the delight of the demonstration, and, uh... Nope, that'd get too expensive!

Caddisflies got tailhooks, and they're pretty?! Who would'a thought? :shock: :?


Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

That is a pretty wicked looking implement there Charlie. :D I have never bothered much to collect a few of these to bring home and look at under the scope, maybe I will. It is the tube and case builder caddis that fascinate me the most. It is remarkable how they can be so precise in building those things, especially the case builders. I have on occasion, while out drifting a few nymphs or maybe even a 16 Elk Hair Caddis, stopped and examined them with a 10X hand lens, remarkable!

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Post by beetleman »

That is one crazy looking appendage Charles. The second picture does not even look real :shock: Wonderful detail. I`ll bet nobody has seen it like you show it :smt023
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

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