This is a story of the importance of bycatch. While out surveying the plants and habitats of fen sites as part of the pilot for the National Fen Survey on behalf of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Dr Jim Martin & Dr Fionnuala O’Neill of BEC Consultants picked up a sample of stonewort for identification. The sample was taken from Lough Garr, Co. Westmeath and was passed on to me to have a look at for identification. I identified it as Chara virgata. However, while looking down the microscope, I noticed a number of, what appeared to be, caddisfly cases attached to the stonewort. Given the size, shape and construction, the most likely candidate was Tricholeiochitonfagesii, a species known from only a small number of sites in Ireland and only recorded once on the wing (a female taken in 1997 in Co. Mayo, but only recently identified (O’Connor, 2019)). While most of the cases were empty beyond the larval exuviae left behind by the emerging adults, one appeared to still have its occupant in residence. And not only in residence, but still alive and well!

Tricholeiochiton fagesii pupaTricholeiochiton fagesii pupa
Tricholeiochiton fagesii pupa

Given the paucity of resources available to identify caddisfly pupae, it was decided to attempt to raise the specimen to adulthood to confirm the identification. After eight days, what emerged was the first male T. fagesii adult to be recorded in Ireland. An identification kindly confirmed by Dr Jim O’Connor.

Tricholeiochiton fagesii adult
Tricholeiochiton fagesii adult male

The lesson for me from this is that there are lot of discoveries still to be made for this under-recorded group, especially the diminutive Hydroptilidae and they can turn up when you’re least expecting them. Keep your eyes open!

Further details of the discovery can be found in Brophy & O’Connor (2020).

References

Brophy, J.T and O’Connor, J.P. (2020) A new site for Tricholeiochiton fagesii (Guinard, 1879) (Trichoptera: Hydroptilidae). Entomologist’s Record and Journal of Variation 132(5): 244-248.

O’Connor, J.P. (2019) Hydroptila vectis Curtis, 1834, new to Ireland and the first Irish adult of Tricholeiochiton fagesii (Guinard, 1879) (Trichoptera: Hydroptilidae). Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine 155: 163–167.

The Irish Biogeographical Society has uploaded a new online publication in its new Occasional Electronic Publication series entitled A National Grid Atlas of the Irish Caddisflies (Trichoptera) (O’Connor, 2020). The publication presents distribution maps for all the known caddisfly species in Ireland at a 10 km square resolution, and includes an up-to-date species checklist. The maps are based on those produced by the mapping system of the National Biodiversity Data Centre. (Interactive versions of these maps can be accessed through the species profile pages of the TrichopteraIreland website). The publication also includes Irish flight periods and examples of European distribution maps from Neu et al. (2018).

This publication can be downloaded from here, or from the Irish Biogeographical Society website.

References

O’Connor, J.P. (2020) A National Grid Atlas of the Irish Caddisflies (Trichoptera). Occasional Electronic Publication of the Irish Biogeographical Society, Number 1. 194pp

Neu, P.J., Malicky, H., Graf, W. and Schmidt-Kloiber, A. (2018) Distribution Atlas of European Trichoptera. Die Tierwalt Deutschlands 84. Conchbooks, Harxheim.

Hydroptila lotensis Mosely, 1930

Hydroptila lotensis is one of 28 members of the Family Hydroptilidae found in Ireland, and one of 13 members of the genus Hydroptila. It is a species whose larvae can be found in rivers, in standing or slow-flowing water, and its substratum preference is for algae. H. lotensis has a case made of sand grains, which is laterally compressed. Only the final instar has a case, and is very different from the earlier instars.

The larvae of most Hydroptilid species are not described. Notable features of the larvae of the genus Hydroptila include a laterally flattened abdomen, which lacks dorsal and ventral ovoid processes, a laterally compressed case made of sand grains (or in one case algal filaments), no sclerotized median point on the labrum, 2nd & 3rd legs at most 1.5 times longer the 1st legs and gill filaments on the anal proleg, the claws of which also have accessory hooks.

Adults of Hydroptila lotensis can be found on the wing from June to August in Britain, and the only known record from Ireland is from June.

There are currently no distribution records available for Hydroptila lotensis in Ireland through the National Biodiversity Data Centre mapping system. The only record for the species is from the River Liffey in Celbridge, Co. Kildare.

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. & O’Connor, M.A. (2019) Hydroptila lotensis Mosely, 1930, new to Ireland and a second Irish record of Hydroptila vectis Curtis, 1834, (Trichoptera: Hydroptilidae). Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine 155: 229–234.

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: 04/11/2019

A new species, Hydroptila lotensis Mosely, 1930, has been added to the Irish Trichoptera list by O’Connor & O’Connor (2019). Males and females of H. lotensis were swept from vegetation along the River Liffey, Co. Kildare in June 2019. This brings the number of Trichoptera known from Ireland to 156.

References

O’Connor, J.P. & O’Connor, M.A. (2019) Hydroptila lotensis Mosely, 1930, new to Ireland and a second Irish record of Hydroptila vectis Curtis, 1834, (Trichoptera: Hydroptilidae). Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine 155: 229–234.

Last updated: 01/11/2019

Oxyethira mirabilis Morton, 1904

Oxyethira mirabilis is one of 28 members of the Family Hydroptilidae found in Ireland, and one of seven members of the genus Oxyethira. It is a species whose larvae can be found in streams and rivers. Oxyethira mirabilis has a case made of silk secretions, which is laterally compressed and has a narrow anterior opening and broad posterior opening. Only the final instar has a case, and is very different from the earlier instars. This species can be found in brackish waters.

The larvae of most Hydroptilid species are not described. Defining features of the final instar of the larvae of the genus Oxyethira is the absence of dorsal and ventral ovoid processes on the abdomen, no lateral protuberances on the 2nd abdominal segment, no median sclerotized point on the labrum, 2nd and 3rd legs 2-3 times as long as 1st leg, and a case as above.

The flight period for adults of Oxyethira mirabilis in Britain has been given as July, while adults were taken on the wing in Ireland in June and August.

There are currently no distribution records available for Oxyethira mirabilis in Ireland through the National Biodiversity Data Centre mapping system.

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. (2019) Oxyethira mirabilis Morton (Trichoptera: Hydroptilidae), a caddisfly new to Ireland. British Journal of Entomology and Natural History 32: 231-234.

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: 01/11/2019

Hydroptila vectis Curtis, 1834

Hydroptila vectis is one of 28 members of the Family Hydroptilidae found in Ireland, and one of 13 members of the genus Hydroptila. It is a species whose larvae can be found in streams on a substratum of algae. Hydroptila vectis has a case made of sand grains, which is laterally compressed. Only the final instar has a case, and is very different from the earlier instars.

The larvae of most Hydroptilid species are not described. Notable features of the larvae of the genus Hydroptila include a laterally flattened abdomen, which lacks dorsal and ventral ovoid processes, a laterally compressed case made of sand grains (or in one case algal filaments), no sclerotized median point on the labrum, 2nd & 3rd legs at most 1.5 times longer the 1st legs and gill filaments on the anal proleg, the claws of which also have accessory hooks.

Adults of Hydroptila vectis can be found on the wing from June to September.

There are currently no distribution records available for Hydroptila vectis in Ireland through the National Biodiversity Data Centre mapping system.

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. (2019) Hydroptila vectis Curtis, 1834, new to Ireland and the first Irish adult of Tricholeiochiton fagesii (Guinard, 1879) (Trichoptera: Hydroptilidae). Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine 155: 163–167.

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: 01/11/2019

Two new species, Hydroptila vectis Curtis, 1834 and Oxyethira mirabilis Morton, 1904, have been added to the Irish Trichoptera list by O’Connor (2019a; 2019b). Males of Hydroptila vectis were discovered in preserved malaise trap samples taken in 1998 in Glenveagh National Park, Co. Donegal by Dr Martin Speight, and deposited with the National Museum of Ireland. Females of Oxyethira mirabilis were similarly discovered in preserved malaise trap samples taken in 1997 in Ballycroy National Park, Co. Mayo by Dr Martin Speight. This brings the number of Trichoptera known from Ireland to 155. The first adult of Tricholeiochiton fagesii was also discovered in the samples from 1997 taken in Ballycroy National Park, with the species only known previously in Ireland from larval material.

References

O’Connor, J.P. (2019a) Hydroptila vectis Curtis, 1834, new to Ireland and the first Irish adult of Tricholeiochiton fagesii (Guinard, 1879) (Trichoptera: Hydroptilidae). Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine 155: 163–167.

O’Connor, J.P. (2019b) Oxyethira mirabilis Morton (Trichoptera: Hydroptilidae), a caddisfly new to Ireland. British Journal of Entomology and Natural History 32: 231-234.

Last updated: 28/08/2019

Quick stats update

February 11, 2019

Trichoptera Ireland is now six years old. The website includes 75 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 2018, the site had 2,989 visitors from 73 countries (up from 2,085 visitors from 73 countries in 2017). The Top 5 countries for 2018 were: United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and Norway.

There is now a species profile for each of the 153 Irish Trichoptera species available through the website.

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

Hydropsyche fulvipes (Curtis, 1834)

Hydropsyche fulvipes is one of eight members of the Family Hydropsychidae found in Ireland, and one of six of the genus Hydropsyche. It is a species whose larvae can be found in small, generally first order, streams. Its substratum preference ranges from coarse gravel to boulders and bedrock, but includes plant material and woody debris, in areas with moderate to high current velocities. Its preference is for neutral to alkaline waters.

Hydropsyche fulvipes has a univoltine reproductive cycle (one generation per year) in temperate areas. Its feeding ecology is mainly passive filter feeding, with some predation and grazing.

Characteristic features of the larva of Hydropsyche fulvipes include the presence of large, rectangular dorsal plates on all three thoracic segments, tufted gills on the abdominal segments up to and including the 7th segment, the lack of long bristles on the front margin of the pronotum, partially pigmented posterior prosternites, a frontoclypeal pattern of joined aboral and lateral marks and a pale band on the anterior part of the ventral surface of the head (though this is not very dramatic). Its separation from other Hydropsyche larvae is difficult.

Adults of Hydropsyche fulvipes can be found on the wing from May to September.

Hydropsyche fulvipes was added to the Irish list after an adult female was captured in Edenvale, Co. Wexford on 14th August 2018 (O’Connor et al., 2019). Distribution records of Hydropsyche fulvipes in Ireland should soon be available here.

References

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

Edington, J.M. and Hildrew, A.G. (1995) A Revised Key to the Caseless Caddis Larvae of the British Isles: with notes on their ecology. Freshwater Biological Association Special Publication No. 53.

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., O’Connor, M.A. and Gammell, M.P. (2019) The Caddisfly Hydropsyche fulvipes (Curtis, 1834) (Trichoptera: Hydropsychidae): Finally Confirmed as an Irish Species. Entomologist’s Record and Journal of Variation, 131: 26-31.

Last updated: 09/02/2019

After a number of false starts, Hydropsyche fulvipes (Curtis, 1834) has been added to the Irish Trichoptera list by O’Connor et al., (2019). A female adult was taken on a tributary of the River Sow at Edenvale, County Wexford on 14th August 2018. This brings the list of Trichoptera known from Ireland to 153.

Reference:

O’Connor, J.P., O’Connor, M.A. and Gammell, M.P. (2019) The Caddisfly Hydropsyche fulvipes (Curtis, 1834) (Trichoptera: Hydropsychidae): Finally Confirmed as an Irish Species. Entomologist’s Record and Journal of Variation 131: 26-31.

Last updated: 09/02/2019