Species profile: Anabolia brevipennis

January 19, 2017

Anabolia/ brevipennis (Curtis, 1834)

Anabolia brevipennis is one of 40 members of the Family Limnephilidae found in Ireland, and one of two members of the genus Anabolia. It is a species whose larvae can be found in shallow, often temporary pools, in fens, usually with deciduous trees nearby. Its substratum preference includes plant material, particulate organic matter and woody debris, in standing water (or where there is a very slight flow). Anabolia brevipennis has a rather distinctive case, made of disks cut from leaves, resulting in a straight case with a triangular cross-section.

The feeding ecology of the larvae of Anabolia brevipennis is predominantly shredding, with some predation and grazing.

Characteristic features of the larva of Anabolia brevipennis include a prosternal horn, dorsal protuberance on the 1st abdominal segment, antenna midway between the eye and the anterior head margin, some gills with three or more filaments, anterior or posterior face of at least one femur of the 2nd and 3rd legs with one or more additional setae, two strong setae on the ventral edge of the femur of the 2nd leg, 1st leg femur proximal seta pale, contrasting with the dark distal seta, while the dorsal and/or posterior faces have additional setae.

In Ireland, adults of Anabolia brevipennis have only been found on the wing in August (based on limited records), while the British flight period is given as August to October.

For details of published records of Anabolia brevipennis (listed by its synonym Phacopteryx brevipennis), visit the National Biodiversity Data Centre page here.

Phacopteryx brevipennis


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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