Species profile: Plectrocnemia conspersa

August 1, 2016

Plectrocnemia conspersa (Curtis, 1834)

Plectrocnemia conspersa is one of eleven members of the Family Polycentropodidae found in Ireland, and one of two members of the genus Plectrocnemia. It is a species whose larvae can be found in trickles, streams, small stony lakes and flowing marshes. Its substratum preference includes rocks, boulders, bedrock, plants, mosses and particulate organic matter. This species shows a preference acidic water, and can be found in brackish water areas.

The feeding ecology of Plectrocnemia conspersa is predominantly predation, with a small amount of passive filter feeding, using nets of varying design depending on the water velocity. The species is univoltine (one generation per year) in temperate regions.

Characteristic features of the larva of Plectrocnemia conspersa include a basal membranous section of the anal proleg equal in length to the distal sclerotized section, obtuse angled anal claws without four blunt teeth on the inside edge, tarsus and tibia of the 1st leg of about equal length, a distinct posterior mark on the labrum, and numerous bristles on the 9th abdominal segment.

Adults of Plectrocnemia conspersa can be found on the wing from May to December.

For distribution records of Plectrocnemia conspersa, visit the National Biodiversity Data Centre page here.

Plectrocnemia conspersa


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: 08/04/2018


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