Spitting together a home of twigs, sand and stone; the Caddish fly larvae

 

So today I saw my first ever Caddish fly larvae (as pictured above) and what a strange little creature it is! So of course I have decided to research about it and share my findings with you lovely people.

Pond dipping: The finding of the Caddish

I am an education assistant at one of my local nature reserves and today I was helping out with pond dipping, which is one of my favourite activities ever. Every family I met was so eager to learn and get stuck into netting the water for pond life. It has been a fantastic day! It is days like this that make me more certain than ever that I want to work in environmental education, teaching communities and families about nature and the environment. I did come across one little creature today that I have not seen in the flesh before and this was the interesting looking Caddish fly larvae. Upon the length of its body was an odd miss mash of materials, with its small head peeking out, feeling the bottom of the tub with its antennae. I was so excited by it and so were the lucky family who caught this creature. Indeed it brought all the pond dippers together, as others came to take a peak at this strange creature too. It wasn’t long until the same family caught two more! I was going to post about the prehistoric shark; Megalodon but as soon as I saw this Caddish I knew I had to research its natural history and dedicate this post to it.

A Caddish Natural History

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Caddish Fly Larvae

Caddish fly larvae begin their lives living in the bottom of fresh water ponds, this is where they do something really weird… In order to pupate and turn into their adult forms the Caddish Fly larvae secretes silk from glands around the mouth, which they then use to spin stone, sand and twigs into a protective case around the body (as can be seen in the specimen pictured above). Although, I will note here that there are 200 species of Caddish in the UK and not all exhibit this strange behaviour.

Caddish Flies

The adults are land living and are distant relatives to moths. They are nocturnal and can be found on tufts of grass by the edge of ponds. Caddish flies are an important food source to fish such as trout and salmon.

So this concludes todays post. Thank you for reading!

 

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