Hagenella clathrata (Kolenati, 1848)

Hagenella clathrata is one of eight members of the Family Phryganeidae found in Ireland, and the only representatives of the genus. It is a species whose larvae can be found in tiny pools on raised bogs and heaths, among tussocks of grasses and sedges. Its substratum preference includes coarse and fine particulate organic matter, and plant material. The species shows a preference acidic water. Its case is made of rectangular sections of dead leaves and is slightly curved.

Hagenella clathrata has a univoltine reproductive cycle (one generation per year) in temperate regions and lives less than one year. Its feeding ecology is partly predatory, partly shredding of fallen leaves and plant material.

Characteristic features of the larva of Hagenella clathrata include the largely unsclerotized mesodorsum and metadorsum, the presence of lateral and dorsal protuberances on the 1st abdominal segment, the absence of conspicuous dark bands on the head and pronotum,  and the apical setae of the tibia and the basal setae of the tarsal claw are slightly curved.

Adults of Hagenella clathrata can be found on the wing in the period June-July in Britain, but, to date, have only been found in June in Ireland.

There are no records of Hagenella clathrata on National Biodiversity Data Centre page at the time of writing, as the species was only added to the Irish list in June 2018, when it was confirmed by a specimen taken in Ower, Co. Galway by Dr Martin Gammell and Dr Catriona Carlin, after being photographed on Abbeyleix Bog, Co. Laois in 2016 by Tina Claffey.

References

Barnard, P. and Ross, E. (2012) The Adult Trichoptera (Caddisflies) of Britain and Ireland. RES Handbook Volume 1, Part 17.

Graf, W., Murphy, J., Dahl, J., Zamora-Muñoz, C. and López-Rodríguez, M.J. (2008) Distribution and Ecological Preferences of European Freshwater Species. Volume 1: Trichoptera. Astrid Schmidt-Kloiber & Daniel Hering (eds). Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow.

Wallace, I.D., Wallace, B. and Philipson, G.N. (2003) Keys to the Case-bearing Caddis Larvae of Britain and Ireland. Scientific Publication of the Freshwater Biological Association No. 61.

Last updated: 26/06/2017

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Hagenella clathrata at Ower, Co. Galway. Photograph by Caitriona Carlin

Hagenella clathrata at Ower, Co. Galway. Photograph by Caitriona Carlin

The story of the discovery of Hagenella clathrata in Ireland began with a post to the Insects/Invertebrates of Ireland Facebook group on the 26 June 2017 by Tina Claffey looking for a species identification. The image was of an adult caddisfly with black and orange mottled wings photographed on Abbeyleix Bog, Co. Laois on 22 May 2016. At first glance, due to a superficial similarity, the possibility that it was Philopotamus montanus was considered; however, the habitat was all wrong – woodland on a raised bog, rather than a fast-flowing, rocky mountain stream. It was Dr Martin Gammell of GMIT who first suggested Hagenella clathrata as a contender; a species that has never been recorded in Ireland. A brave suggestion based on a photo, I thought. Brave, but as it turned out, correct. Further expertise was brought to bear on the issue to great effect, with Graham Vick confirming that it was indeed the Window winged sedge H. clathrata, a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species in UK and a species that was not previously known from Ireland.

Haganella clathrata_Tina Claffey

The first encounter with Hagenella clathrata in Ireland at Abbeyleix Bog, Co. Laois. Photograph by Tina Claffey – www.TinaClaffey.com

The next step, according to Irish expert Dr Jim O’Connor, was to take at least a single adult specimen for confirmation before the species could be added to the Irish list. Unfortunately, attempts to relocate the species on Abbeyleix Bog in 2017 were unsuccessful and so more visits in 2018 were planned.

As the presumed flight period for H. clathrata approached, the eyes of those with an interest in caddisflies in Ireland turned once again to Abbeyleix Bog, but at this point luck (or fate, for those who hold with such ideas) intervened. While out surveying for the protected butterfly Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) on 1 June 2018 at Ower, Co. Galway, Dr Gammell and Dr Caitriona Carlin spotted some dark-winged caddisflies and took the opportunity to capture one. On getting it under a microscope, it was discovered to be male H. clathrata. From photographs of the genitalia, Dr O’Connor was able to confirm the identification and with an adult in hand, the species can now be added to the Irish list.

Irish entomology continues to throw up new species across many groups, with some being new arrivals, while others might well have been there all along, but avoided detection. No doubt there will be further additions to the Irish Trichoptera list in the future, so keep your eyes open and your net in hand.

The mapping system of the National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC) received a major overhaul as the Centre moved away from a Microsoft Silverlight-based system to one powered by ArcGIS. One of the many benefits of this change is the introduction of the facility to embed live maps on a third-party websites. These embedded maps update automatically as records are added for a given species. Trichoptera Ireland has taken advantage of this new facility by adding embedded maps to the species profiles for all Irish caddisfly species. These species profiles can be accessed through the Irish Trichoptera Checklist tab.

Below is an example of the NBDC distribution maps showing the distribution of Goera pilosa.

Goera pilosa

Trichoptera Ireland is now five years old. The website includes 68 published references related to caddisflies in Ireland gathered in one location (and more to come). I am delighted that the visitor numbers have continued to grow year-on-year. In 2017, the site had 2,085 visitors from 73 countries (up from 1,248 visitors from 74 countries in 2016). The Top 5 countries for 2017 were: United Kingdom, Ireland, United States, Germany and Finland.

There is now a species profile for each of the 151 Irish Trichoptera species available through the website.

Thanks to all my visitors. I hope you have found something useful here.

Limnephilus elegans Curtis, 1834

Limnephilus elegans is one of 40 members of the Family Limnephilidae found in Ireland, and one of 24 members of the genus Limnephilus. It is a species whose larvae can be found in small pools on raised bogs and fens. Its substratum preference ranges from plants (including Sphagnum moss), to woody debris and particulate organic matter, in standing water. Limnephilus elegans usually has a straight case made of overlapping plant fragments at instar V, but instar IV may have a case made from root fragments arranged in a spiral.

The feeding ecology of the larvae of Limnephilus elegans is predominantly shredding, with some predation and grazing.

Characteristic features of the larva of Limnephilus elegans include a prosternal horn, dorsal protuberance on the 1st abdominal segment, antenna midway between the eye and the anterior head margin, some gills with three or more filaments, no femur of the 2nd and 3rd legs with one or more additional setae, no additional setae on the proximal section of the trochanter of the 2nd or 3rd legs, setae of the ventral edge of the femora of the 2nd and 3rd leg all dark, anterior-lateral gills on the 2nd abdominal segment, no gills on the 8th abdominal segment, and head without pale areas around edges of fronto-clypeal apotome (though posterior tip may be pale).

Adults of Limnephilus elegans can be found on the wing in Ireland from May to July (based on limited records).

For details of published records of Limnephilus elegans, visit the National Biodiversity Data Centre page here.

Limnephilus elegans

References

Barnard, P. and Ross, E. (2012) The Adult Trichoptera (Caddisflies) of Britain and Ireland. RES Handbook Volume 1, Part 17.

Graf, W., Murphy, J., Dahl, J., Zamora-Muñoz, C. and López-Rodríguez, M.J. (2008) Distribution and Ecological Preferences of European Freshwater Species. Volume 1: Trichoptera. Astrid Schmidt-Kloiber & Daniel Hering (eds). Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow.

O’Connor, J.P. (2015) A Catalogue and Atlas of the Caddisflies (Trichoptera) of Ireland. Occasional Publication of the Irish Biogeographical Society, No. 11.

Wallace, I.D., Wallace, B. and Philipson, G.N. (2003) Keys to the Case-bearing Caddis Larvae of Britain and Ireland. Scientific Publication of the Freshwater Biological Association No. 61.

Last updated: 09/04/2018

Limnephilus pati O’Connor, 1980

Limnephilus pati is one of 40 members of the Family Limnephilidae found in Ireland, and one of 24 members of the genus Limnephilus. The larvae of Limnephilus pati are, as yet, unknown, but are likely to be found in fens. It is thought they are mainly shredders like other limnephilids.

Adults of Limnephilus pati can be found on the wing in Ireland from June to July.

For details of published records of Limnephilus pati, visit the National Biodiversity Data Centre page here.

Limnephilus pati

References

Barnard, P. and Ross, E. (2012) The Adult Trichoptera (Caddisflies) of Britain and Ireland. RES Handbook Volume 1, Part 17.

O’Connor, J.P. (2015) A Catalogue and Atlas of the Caddisflies (Trichoptera) of Ireland. Occasional Publication of the Irish Biogeographical Society, No. 11.

Last updated: 09/04/2018

Limnephilus tauricus Schmidt, 1964

Limnephilus tauricus is one of 40 members of the Family Limnephilidae found in Ireland, and one of 24 members of the genus Limnephilus. It is a species whose larvae can be found in fens, in still water. Limnephilus tauricus has a straight case, circular in cross-section, made of overlapping pieces of plant material.

Characteristic features of the larva of Limnephilus tauricus include a prosternal horn, dorsal protuberance on the 1st abdominal segment, antenna midway between the eye and the anterior head margin, some gills with three or more filaments, additional setae on the femora of the 2nd and 3rd legs not confined to the proximal third, ventral edge of the femora of the 2nd and 3rd leg with two strong setae, both dark, ventral edge setae of 1st leg femur pale, pronotum lacking distinct colour contrast between anterior and posterior sections, pleural band absent or indistinct, femur of 1st leg without additional setae, metadorsum with setae on soft cuticle between posterior sclerites, anterior-median sclerites pale and indistinct, and proximal section of 2nd or 3rd leg with 1 or more additional setae.

Adults of Limnephilus tauricus can be found on the wing in Ireland in June, but this is based on a single record. The flight period for Britain is given as July to August.

For details of published records of Limnephilus tauricus, visit the National Biodiversity Data Centre page here.

Limnephilus tauricus

References

Barnard, P. and Ross, E. (2012) The Adult Trichoptera (Caddisflies) of Britain and Ireland. RES Handbook Volume 1, Part 17.

Graf, W., Murphy, J., Dahl, J., Zamora-Muñoz, C. and López-Rodríguez, M.J. (2008) Distribution and Ecological Preferences of European Freshwater Species. Volume 1: Trichoptera. Astrid Schmidt-Kloiber & Daniel Hering (eds). Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow.

O’Connor, J.P. (2015) A Catalogue and Atlas of the Caddisflies (Trichoptera) of Ireland. Occasional Publication of the Irish Biogeographical Society, No. 11.

Wallace, I.D., Wallace, B. and Philipson, G.N. (2003) Keys to the Case-bearing Caddis Larvae of Britain and Ireland. Scientific Publication of the Freshwater Biological Association No. 61.

Last updated: 09/04/2018