Species profile: Rhyacophila munda

March 20, 2014

Rhyacophila munda McLachlan, 1862

Rhyacophila munda is one of two members of the Family Rhyacophilidae found in Ireland (the other being Rhyacophila dorsalis). This species can be found in upland stony, streams and rivers, with a substratum preference ranging from coarse gravel to boulders and in high current velocities. Rhyacophila munda has no preference with regard to the pH of the water. It is a free-living species and so does not build a case like many other caddisfly larvae, feeding by active predation. In temperate latitudes, Rhyacophila munda exhibits a univoltine reproductive pattern.

The larvae of Rhyacophila munda can be readily identified, and separated from R. dorsalis, based on a number of features. Both species lack hard, sclerotized plates on the 2nd & 3rd thoracic segments. Both species have tufted gills laterally on the abdominal segments, while R. munda has single filament gills on the thoracic segments compared to the tufted thoracic gills of R. dorsalis.

The larva is green in life, while preservation in 70% Industrial Methylated Spirits (IMS) renders it a pale pink-white colour.

Adults of Rhyacophila munda can be found on the wing from (May) July to November.

Records of Rhyacophila munda on the National Biodiversity Data Centre mapping system can be found here.

Rhyacophila munda


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

Last updated: 14/03/2018


2 Responses to “Species profile: Rhyacophila munda

  1. Julian and Sylvia Says:

    Well done John. Clear and interesting summary!
    Cheers, Julian

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