Limnephilus sparsus Curtis, 1834

Limnephilus sparsus is one of 40 members of the Family Limnephilidae found in Ireland, and one of 24 members of the genus Limnephilus. It is a species whose larvae can be found in temporary waterbodies like pools and marshes. Its substratum preference includes plant material, particulate organic matter, mud and sand, in standing water. Limnephilus sparsus has a curved case made of plant fragments arranged tangentially or of sand grains. Its larvae can occur in brackish water.

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

Characteristic features of the larva of Limnephilus sparsus 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, no femur of the 2nd and 3rd legs with one or more additional setae, the proximal section of the trochanter of the 2nd or 3rd legs with no additional setae, femora of 2nd and/or 3rd legs with ventral setae of contrasting colour (pale and dark) and metadorsum with a row of setae on the cuticle between the posterior sclerites.

Adults of Limnephilus sparsus can be found on the wing from May to October, with a summer diapause.

For details of published records of Limnephilus sparsus, visit the National Biodiversity Data Centre page here.

Limnephilus sparsus


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