Species profile: Glossosoma conformis

November 4, 2014

Glossosoma conformis Neboiss, 1963

Glossosoma conformis is one of five members of the Family Glossosomatidae found in Ireland, and one of two members of the genus Glossosoma, along with Glossosoma boltoni. It is a species whose larvae can be found in streams and rivers with a substratum preference ranging from coarse gravel to boulders and bedrock. Glossosoma conformis</em 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 the water.

In temperate areas, Glossosoma conformis 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 Glossosoma conformis 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 Agapetus by the presence of no more than seven setae along the anterior margin of each side of the pronotum and the absence of median sclerites on the mesodorsum and metadorsum. Separating it from Glossosoma boltoni is by a number of features including the presence of an inconspicuous, pale posterior-lateral seta on the 8th abdominal segment, rather than a dark, conspicuous seta, while the band of pigmentation at the posterior margin of the pronotum, closest to the median suture, is entirely black or the area of brown, posterior to the dark band, is of a lighter shade than that anterior to the dark band.

Adults of Glossosoma conformis can be found on the wing from May to August.

For details of published records of Glossosoma conformis, visit the National Biodiversity Data Centre page here.

Glossosoma conforme


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: 14/03/2018


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