Species profile: Hydropsyche contubernalis

November 16, 2015

Hydropsyche contubernalis McLachlan, 1865

Hydropsyche contubernalis is one of nine members of the Family Hydropsychidae found in Ireland, and one of five of the genus Hydropsyche. It is a species whose larvae can be found in the lower reaches of large rivers. Its substratum preference ranges from coarse gravel to boulders and bedrock, but includes plant material and woody debris, in areas with moderate to high current velocities.

Hydropsyche contubernalis has a univoltine reproductive cycle (one generation per year) in temperate areas. Its feeding ecology is almost entirely passive filter feeding, with some predation and gathering of fine particulate organic matter (FPOM).

Characteristic features of the larva of Hydropsyche contubernalis include the presence of large, rectangular dorsal plates on all three thoracic segments, tufted gills on the abdominal segments up to and including the 7th segment, the lack of long bristles on the front margin of the pronotum, entirely pale posterior prosternites, a submentum that lacks a central knob and a frontoclypeal pattern unobscured by a mat of setae.

Adults of Hydropsyche contubernalis can be found on the wing from May to September.

Records of Hydropsyche contubernalis on the National Biodiversity Data Centre mapping system can be found here.

Hydropsyche contubernalis


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.

O’Connor, J.P. (2015) A Catalogue and Atlas of the Caddisflies (Trichoptera) of Ireland. Occasional Publication of the Irish Biogeographical Society, No. 11.

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.

Last updated: 08/04/2018


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