Species profile: Ceraclea albimacula

December 24, 2016

Ceraclea albimacula (Rambur, 1842)

Ceraclea albimacula is one of 24 members of the Family Leptoceridae found in Ireland, and one of six members of the genus Ceraclea. It is a species whose larvae can be found in canals, rivers and large streams, on a substratum of sponges on stones, boulders and bedrock, as well as woody debris, in standing or sometimes slow-moving water. Ceraclea albimacula has a curved case of variable construction, either entirely made of a secreted translucent material (sometimes with sponge fragments incorporated), or with the posterior made of sand grains and the anterior comprised of secretion. The case has an overhanging dorsal lip. The species has no preference in terms of water pH.

In temperate areas, Ceraclea albimacula has a univoltine (one generation per year) reproductive cycle, and lives for up to one year. The larvae feed on sponges.

Defining features of the larvae of Ceraclea albimacula include a mesonotum with dark, curved posterior-lateral projections, mandibles no more than twice as long as wide, a quadrangular ventral apotome (though small larvae may have a squat, rounded triangle-shaped apotome), mesoventer lacking setae, metaventer with one seta on each side,  and anal proleg claws with two accessory hooks.

The adults of Ceraclea albimacula can be found on the wing from June to August.

For details of records of Ceraclea albimacula, visit the National Biodiversity Data Centre page here.


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: 05/01/2017



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