Species profile: Anabolia nervosa

January 19, 2017

Anabolia nervosa

Anabolia nervosa, Co. Wicklow. Photo by John Brophy

Anabolia nervosa (Curtis, 1834)

Anabolia nervosa 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 rivers, lakes, ponds and canals. Its substratum preference includes plant material, particulate organic matter and woody debris, in standing or, occasionally, slow-flowing water. Anabolia nervosa has a distinctive straight case, which can either be made of plant fragments arranged to create a chevron pattern, or of sand grains with one or more long twigs attached along the length.

In temperate areas, Anabolia nervosa has a univoltine (one generation per year) reproductive cycle. The feeding ecology of its larvae is predominantly shredding, with some predation, grazing and gathering.

Characteristic features of the larva of Anabolia nervosa 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, both 1st leg femur ventral setae pale, and the head with a characteristic pattern of blotches on a pale background.

Adults of Anabolia nervosa can be found on the wing from September to October.

For details of published records of Anabolia nervosa, visit the National Biodiversity Data Centre page here.

Anabolia nervosa


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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