Species profile: Agapetus ochripes

November 1, 2014

Agapetus ochripes Curtis, 1834

Agapetus ochripes is one of five members of the Family Glossosomatidae found in Ireland, and one of three members of the genus Agapetus, along with Agapetus fuscipes and Agapetus delicatulus. It is a species whose larvae can be found in rivers. Its substratum preference ranges from coarse gravel to boulders and bedrock. Agapetus ochripes 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 ochripes has a flexible reproductive cycle 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 ochripes 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 an inconspicuous, pale posterior-lateral seta on the 8th abdominal segment, rather than a dark, conspicuous seta, by the form of the lateral mark on the pronotum, which is short, and the metadorsal sclerite that is intermediate in size between the other two species.

Adults of Agapetus ochripes can be found on the wing from April to September.

Currently there are no records of Agapetus ochripes on 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. (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: 31/05/2016

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