What are Caddisflies?

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What are Caddisflies? Blog Image


Researchers at Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University recently discovered a novel species of Caddisfly, named Rhyacophila masudi sp. nov., in Jammu and Kashmir.

About Caddisflies

  • Caddisflies are moth-like insects that are attracted to lights at night and live near lakes or rivers. 
  • Distribution: They are found worldwide, usually in freshwater habitats but sometimes in brackish and tidal waters.
  • Features:
    • Adult caddisflies are commonly 3 to 15 millimetres in length. 
    • Like all insects, caddisflies have 6 legs, 2 antennae, and 3 body parts. 
    • Generally dull brownish, adult caddisflies resemble moths, with hairy wings and long antennae, but caddisflies do not have the long siphoning mouthparts that butterflies and moths have. 
    • Caddisflies hold their wings tent-like over their bodies when they are not flying.
    • Like stoneflies, mayflies, and dobsonflies, immature caddisflies are aquatic, living in streams and lakes.
    • Caddisfly larvae look similar to the larvae of mayflies, aquatic beetles, and other aquatic insects, but can usually be distinguished by the presence of a "case."
  • Most caddisfly larvae construct and live in a protective case made from small pebbles, twigs, or other debris. The larvae build these cases using silk produced from glands in their moths.
    • They feed primarily on plant juices and flower nectar, though a few are predaceous. 
  • Importance:
    • Caddisflies are a vital component of aquatic ecosystems. The insects play a crucial role in the food chain.
    • Not only do they serve as a primary food source for various fish species, they also contribute to water purification by filtering algae and other potentially problematic organisms.

Q1) What are moths?

Moths and butterflies are insects which together form the order called Lepidoptera, meaning 'scaly-winged'. The patterns and colours of their wings are formed by thousands of tiny scales, overlapping like tiles on a roof. 

Source: BGSBU Researchers Discover New Caddisfly Species