Species profile: Hydroptila pulchricornis

July 4, 2016

Hydroptila pulchricornis Pictet, 1834

Hydroptila pulchricornis is one of 25 members of the Family Hydroptilidae found in Ireland, and one of 11 members of the genus Hydroptila. It is a species whose larvae can be found in lakes and rivers. Hydroptila pulchricornis has a case made of sand grains, which is laterally compressed. Only the final instar has a case, and is very different from the earlier instars. The species can be found in brackish waters.

The feeding ecology of Hydroptila pulchricornis is known to include grazing and predation.

The larvae of most Hydroptilid species are not described. Notable features of the larvae of the genus Hydroptila include a laterally flattened abdomen, which lacks dorsal and ventral ovoid processes, a laterally compressed case made of sand grains (or in one case algal filaments), no sclerotized median point on the labrum, 2nd & 3rd legs at most 1.5 times longer the 1st legs and gill filaments on the anal proleg, the claws of which also have accessory hooks.

Adults of Hydroptila pulchricornis can be found on the wing from May to October.

There are currently no distribution records available for Hydroptila pulchricornis in Ireland through the National Biodiversity Data Centre mapping system.


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.

Marshall, J.E. (1978) Trichoptera Hydroptilidae. Handbook for the Identification of British Insects 1(14a):1-31

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: 11/07/2016


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