Species profile: Silo nigricornis

June 19, 2015

Silo nigricornis (Pictet, 1834)

Silo nigricornis is one of three members of the Family Goeridae, and one of two representatives of the genus Silo, found in Ireland, the other being Silo pallipes. It is a species whose larvae can be found in rivers and streams, with a substratum preference ranging from coarse gravel to boulders and bedrock. The species shows a preference for moderately cold water (<18°C). Silo nigricornis has a tubular case made of sand grains, with large ballast stones attached along the side.

In terms of feeding, this species is predominately a grazer/scraper, though some gathering/collecting is evident.

The larvae of the Family Goeridae are easily recognisable due to the presence of an anterior process on the mesopleurite that extends free from the body wall and also the construction of the case, with its large ballast stones along the side. The larvae of the genus Silo can be separated from Goera pilosa by the truncate shape of the mesonotal lateral sclerites (adjacent to the mesopleurite) and the tapering shape of the posterior of the fronto-clypeal apotome. The separation of Silo nigricornis from Silo pallipes, in later instars, is based on the absence of additional setae on the proximal half of the 1st leg femur, and the absence of three slightly raised areas on the pronotum.

Adults of Silo nigricornis can be found on the wing from May to September.

Records of Silo nigricornis on the National Biodiversity Data Centre website can be found here.


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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