Hydropsyche fulvipes (Curtis, 1834)

Hydropsyche fulvipes is one of eight members of the Family Hydropsychidae found in Ireland, and one of six of the genus Hydropsyche. It is a species whose larvae can be found in small, generally first order, streams. Its substratum preference ranges from coarse gravel to boulders and bedrock, but includes plant material and woody debris, in areas with moderate to high current velocities. Its preference is for neutral to alkaline waters.

Hydropsyche fulvipes has a univoltine reproductive cycle (one generation per year) in temperate areas. Its feeding ecology is mainly passive filter feeding, with some predation and grazing.

Characteristic features of the larva of Hydropsyche fulvipes include the presence of large, rectangular dorsal plates on all three thoracic segments, tufted gills on the abdominal segments up to and including the 7th segment, the lack of long bristles on the front margin of the pronotum, partially pigmented posterior prosternites, a frontoclypeal pattern of joined aboral and lateral marks and a pale band on the anterior part of the ventral surface of the head (though this is not very dramatic). Its separation from other Hydropsyche larvae is difficult.

Adults of Hydropsyche fulvipes can be found on the wing from May to September.

Hydropsyche fulvipes was added to the Irish list after an adult female was captured in Edenvale, Co. Wexford on 14th August 2018 (O’Connor et al., 2019). Distribution records of Hydropsyche fulvipes in Ireland on the National Biodiversity Data Centre mapping system can  be found here.

Hydropsyche fulvipes


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., O’Connor, M.A. and Gammell, M.P. (2019) The Caddisfly Hydropsyche fulvipes (Curtis, 1834) (Trichoptera: Hydropsychidae): Finally Confirmed as an Irish Species. Entomologist’s Record and Journal of Variation, 131: 26-31.

Last updated: 09/02/2019