Species profile: Mystacides longicornis

July 10, 2016

Mystacides longicornis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Mystacides longicornis is one of 24 members of the Family Leptoceridae found in Ireland, and one of two members of the genus Mystacides, along with Mystacides azurea. It is a species whose larvae can be found in lakes, canals, and still or slow-flowing sections of rivers, on plants, woody debris, mud and sand. Mystacides longicornis has a case made of sand grains, usually incorporating fragments of plant material. The species has no preference with regard to pH of the water and can also be found in brackish waters.

In temperate areas, Mystacides longicornis has a univoltine (one generation per year) reproductive cycle, and lives for up to one year. In terms of feeding, this species is largely a gatherer, though some shredding, grazing and predation is evident.

Defining features of the larvae of Mystacides longicornis include the lack of a hooked tarsal claw on the 2nd leg, mandibles no more than twice as long as wide, the lack of posterior-lateral projections from the mesonotum, a dark bar on the posterior of the 1st abdominal lateral sclerite, a median constriction of the tibia and tarsus of the 3rd leg, and gills on the 6th abdominal segment.

Adults of Mystacides longicornis are quite distinctive, with red eyes, elbow-like maxillary palps (at rest) and two colour forms: brown and yellow stripes, and pale yellow.

Adults of Mystacides longicornis can be found on the wing from June to October.

For details of records of Mystacides longicornis, visit the National Biodiversity Data Centre page here.

Mystacides longicornis


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: 09/04/2018


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