Species profile: Diplectrona felix

October 16, 2015

Diplectrona felix McLachlan, 1878

Diplectrona felix is one of nine members of the Family Hydropsychidae found in Ireland, and the sole representative of the genus in Britain and Ireland. It is a species whose larvae can be found in small, cool streams and springs. The substratum preference ranges from fine gravel to boulders and bedrock, but includes woody debris, in areas with moderate to high current velocities. The species does not show a preference for a particular pH.

Diplectrona felix has a univoltine reproductive cycle (one generation per year) and lives up to one year. Its feeding ecology is predominantly passive filter feeding, with some predation and grazing/scraping.

Characteristic features of the larva of Diplectrona felix include the presence of large, rectangular dorsal plates on all three thoracic segments, tufted gills on the abdominal segments, the lack of long bristles on the front margin of the pronotum, the uniform brown colour of the dorsal surface of the head, and the transverse sutures on the 2nd and 3rd thoracic plates.

Adults of Diplectrona felix can be found on the wing from May to August.

Records of Diplectrona felix on the National Biodiversity Data Centre website can be found here.

References

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: 31/05/2016

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