Hagenella clathrata at Ower, Co. Galway. Photograph by Caitriona Carlin

Hagenella clathrata at Ower, Co. Galway. Photograph by Caitriona Carlin

The story of the discovery of Hagenella clathrata in Ireland began with a post to the Insects/Invertebrates of Ireland Facebook group on the 26 June 2017 by Tina Claffey looking for a species identification. The image was of an adult caddisfly with black and orange mottled wings photographed on Abbeyleix Bog, Co. Laois on 22 May 2016. At first glance, due to a superficial similarity, the possibility that it was Philopotamus montanus was considered; however, the habitat was all wrong – woodland on a raised bog, rather than a fast-flowing, rocky mountain stream. It was Dr Martin Gammell of GMIT who first suggested Hagenella clathrata as a contender; a species that has never been recorded in Ireland. A brave suggestion based on a photo, I thought. Brave, but as it turned out, correct. Further expertise was brought to bear on the issue to great effect, with Graham Vick confirming that it was indeed the Window winged sedge H. clathrata, a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species in UK and a species that was not previously known from Ireland.

The next step, according to Irish expert Dr Jim O’Connor, was to take at least a single adult specimen for confirmation before the species could be added to the Irish list. Unfortunately, attempts to relocate the species on Abbeyleix Bog in 2017 were unsuccessful and so more visits in 2018 were planned.

As the presumed flight period for H. clathrata approached, the eyes of those with an interest in caddisflies in Ireland turned once again to Abbeyleix Bog, but at this point luck (or fate, for those who hold with such ideas) intervened. While out surveying for the protected butterfly Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia) on 1 June 2018 at Ower, Co. Galway, Dr Gammell and Dr Caitriona Carlin spotted some dark-winged caddisflies and took the opportunity to capture one. On getting it under a microscope, it was discovered to be male H. clathrata. From photographs of the genitalia, Dr O’Connor was able to confirm the identification and with an adult in hand, the species can now be added to the Irish list.

Irish entomology continues to throw up new species across many groups, with some being new arrivals, while others might well have been there all along, but avoided detection. No doubt there will be further additions to the Irish Trichoptera list in the future, so keep your eyes open and your net in hand.

Advertisements

Trichoptera Ireland is now five years old. The website includes 68 published references related to caddisflies in Ireland gathered in one location (and more to come). I am delighted that the visitor numbers have continued to grow year-on-year. In 2017, the site had 2,085 visitors from 73 countries (up from 1,248 visitors from 74 countries in 2016). The Top 5 countries for 2017 were: United Kingdom, Ireland, United States, Germany and Finland.

There is now a species profile for each of the 151 Irish Trichoptera species available through the website.

Thanks to all my visitors. I hope you have found something useful here.

Today marks four years since I made my first post to Trichoptera Ireland. I have have continued collecting references related to caddisflies in Ireland, including their biology, ecology and distribution.

The website includes 61 published references related to caddisflies in Ireland gathered in one location (and more to come). In 2016, the site had 1,248 visitors from 74 countries (up from 834 visitors from 57 countries in 2015). The Top 5 countries for 2016 were: Ireland, United Kingdom, United States, Brazil and Germany.

There are now 115 species profiles available on the website, with more being added all the time.

Thanks to all my visitors. I hope you have found something useful here.

Lype reducta (Hagen, 1868)

Lype reducta is one of nine members of the Family Psychomyiidae found in Ireland, and one of two members of the genus Lype. It is a species whose larvae can be found in marshes, streams and rivers on a substratum of woody debris, building galleries of wood fragments and sand held together by silk. The species has no preference with regard to current, but shows a preference for neutral to alkaline water.

In terms of feeding ecology, the larvae are mainly grazers, with some feeding on woody debris.

Defining features of the larvae of Lype reducta include a lack of abdominal gills, labrum comprising a sclerotized plate, lateral plates on the 2nd and 3rd thoracic segments small, anal prolegs with almost no basal membranous section, pronotum lacking black thickening towards the posterior-lateral corner, anterior section of coxopleurite with one vertical black bar and a frontoclypeus with a pale anterior region and dark posterior region.

The adults of Lype reducta can be found on the wing in (April) June to August.

For details of records of Lype reducta, visit the National Biodiversity Data Centre page here.

Lype reducta

References

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

 

Oecetis furva (Rambur, 1842)

Oecetis furva is one of 24 members of the Family Leptoceridae found in Ireland, and one of five member of the genus Oecetis. It is a species whose larvae can be found in large ponds, lakes, and ditches, on a substratum of living plant material, occurring only in standing water. Oecetis furva has an almost straight, fragile case made of plant fragments. The species has no preference in relation to the pH of the water and can be found in brackish water.

In temperate areas, Oecetis furva has a univoltine (one generation per year) reproductive cycle, and lives for up to one year. In terms of feeding ecology, the larvae are both shredders and predators.

Defining features of the larvae of Oecetis furva include antennae at least six times longer than wide, a mesonotum without dark, curved posterior-lateral projections, mandibles at least three times as long as wide, with a single cutting edge, labrum with numerous setae on the dorsal surface, mesoventer without setae, metaventer with 1-6 setae, head and thoracic sclerites with distinct muscle attachment points, 3rd leg lacking long setal fringes, and 8th abdominal segment with one long seta on each side.

The adults of Oecetis furva can be found on the wing in June to October.

For details of records of Oecetis furva, visit the National Biodiversity Data Centre page here.

Oecetis furva

References

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

 

Lepidostoma basale (Kolenati, 1848)

Lepidostoma basale is the one of three members of the Family Lepidostomatidae found in Ireland, and one of two representatives of the genus in Britain and Ireland. It is a species whose larvae can be found in a range of flowing waters including stony rivers and large streams. Lepidostoma basale’s case is curved and made of sand grains. It has a preference for a substratum of woody debris, but can also be found in particular organic matter (POM), and sediment ranging from coarse gravel to boulders and bedrock in slow-flowing and still waters.

In terms of feeding ecology, Lepidostoma basale has a preference for grazing algal tissues, biofilm, etc., woody debris, and shredding fallen leaves.

Characteristic features of the larvae of Lepidostoma basale include the presence of a prosternal horn visible on the ventral side of the pronotum (can be difficult to see without manipulating the legs), the lack of a dorsal protuberance on the 1st abdominal segment, antennae very close to the front margin of the eye, posterior metadorsal sclerite and anterior-media sclerite with a single seta each, and several setae on the anterior edge of the mesonotum in addition to the anterior-lateral setal group.

Adults of Lepidostoma basale can be found on the wing from May to June.

Records of Lepidostoma basale (listed by its synonym Lasiocephala basalis) on the National Biodiversity Data Centre mapping system can be found here.

Lasiocephala basalis

References

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: 08/04/2018

Today marks three years since I made my first post to Trichoptera Ireland. I have have continued collecting references related to caddisflies in Ireland, including their biology, ecology and distribution. Distribution records gathered have gone on to form the Trichoptera (caddisflies) of Ireland data set published online by the National Biodiversity Data Centre.

The website includes 59 published references related to caddisflies in Ireland gathered in one location (and more to come). In 2015, the site had 834 visitors from 57 countries (up from 492 visitors from 49 countries in 2014). The Top 5 countries for 2015 were: Ireland, United Kingdom, United States, France, Germany.

There are now 32 species profiles available on the website, with more being added all the time.

Thanks to all my visitors; I hope you have found something useful here.