Species profile: Agapetus fuscipes

October 31, 2014

Agapetus fuscipes McLachlan, 1884

Agapetus fuscipes is one of five members of the Family Glossosomatidae found in Ireland, and one of three members of the genus Agapetus, along with Agapetus delicatulus and Agapetus ochripes. It is a species whose larvae can be found in flowing waters from trickles and streams to large rivers, but is commonest in smaller waterbodies. Its substratum preference ranges from coarse gravel to boulders and bedrock. Agapetus fuscipes has a case made of sand grains held together by silk, but spaces remain between the grains that allow oxygenated water to pass through. The species has no preference with regard to pH of water.

In temperate areas, Agapetus fuscipes has a flexible reproductive cycle, with a bivoltine (two generations per year) noted, and lives for up to one year. In terms of feeding, this species is largely a grazer/scraper, though some gathering/collecting is evident.

Notable features of the larvae of Agapetus fuscipes include the passing similarity to uncased species in that they lack case-bearing protuberances on the first abdominal segment and also have elongate lateral sclerites on the anal prolegs. The species is separated from the genus Glossosoma by the presence of more than seven setae along the anterior margin of each side of the pronotum and the presence of median sclerites on the mesodorsum and metadorsum. Separating it from other species of the genus is by the presence of a dark, conspicuous posterior-lateral seta on the 8th abdominal segment, rather than an inconspicuous, pale seta, while a prominent lateral seta is also present on the 3rd abdominal segment.

Adults of Agapetus fuscipes can be found on the wing from April to October.

Records of Agapetus fuscipes on the National Biodiversity Data Centre mapping system can be found here.

Agapetus fuscipes (Caddisflies (Trichoptera) of Ireland)


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

Barnard, P. and Ross E. (2008) Guide to the adult caddisflies or sedge flies (Trichoptera). Field Studies Council AIDGAP. ISBN 978-1-85153-241-4.

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: 14/03/2018


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