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Trichoptera of Gunnison County, Colorado

Introduction to the Caddisfly family Hydroptilidae
Microcaddisflies, Purse Case Makers

Stephens, 1836
Updated 4 Dec 2013
TSN 115629

Provisional Species List

There are likely to be more species in our basin.

Good Links

Photos, Map, Museum specimens, DNA - Barcodinglife.org

Photos and discussion - from the Guide to Aquatic Invertebrates of the Upper Midwest

family Overview - University of Alberta Entomology Collection family page
     Has habitat, identification, life history, conservation and more.


Banks,N 1911 Descriptions of new species of North American Neuropterid Insects. Transactions of American Entomological Society 37, 335-360.

Blickle,RL 1979 Hydroptilidae (Trichoptera) of America North of Mexico. Bulletin of the University of New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station 509:1-97.
     Has keys for all the North American adult Hydroptilidae.

Canton,SP and Ward,JV 1981 The aquatic insects, with emphasis on Trichoptera, of a Colorado stream affected by coal strip-mine drainage. Southwestern Naturalist 25 4, 453-460.
     They studied Trout Creek where it runs through the Edna Coal Mine in northwestern Colorado. The mine spoils were 30 meters from the edge of the creek (approximately a 100 foot buffer zone). They found the aquatic insect density (numbers per square meter) and biomass (weight in grams per square meter) did not change above and below the mine. The Shannon-Weaver Diversity index also showed no difference between sites. However the community structure (which species were present and proportions) did change. Since there were irrigation water and cattle influences at their downstream site, their results may reflect these additional water uses. They note the biggest visible change at this mine is the loss of willow and alder trees downstream of the mine. The caddisfly population changed the most between sites, shifting from a mix of families above the mine to dominance by Hydropsychidae and Glossosomatidae below the mine.
Quote from page 457: "Hydroptilidae (primarily Hydroptila) were relatively well represented at C2 (reference site), accounting for 6% of caddisfly numbers; however, at C4 (mine affected), they comprised less than 1% of the density."

Denning,DG and Blickle,RL 1972 A review of the genus Ochrotrichia (Trichoptera: Hydroptilidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 65 (1) 141-151.

Djernæs,M 2011 Structure and phylogenetic significance of the sternum V glands in Trichoptera Zootaxa 2884: 1-60.
     Abstract: "I investigated the sternum V gland in 38 families of Trichoptera, and found it to be present in 25 of these. I found that the gland is generally present in Annulipalpia, except Dipseudopsidae, and in Spicipalpia. It is widespread in Plenitentoria, while it is often absent in Brevitentoria, especially in males. The opening is slit-like and U or crescent-shaped. There is significant variation in the cuticular structures associated with the opening ranging from no apparent modification, over scaly patches to elaborate protuberances. Gland opening muscles are associated with the gland in all families except Psychomyiidae, and are divided into 2 distinct types: One originating on the front edge of sternum VI found in Philopotamidae, Rhyacophilidae, Glossosomatidae and Hydroptilidae; and 1 originating on the cuticle of sternum V found in all other trichopterans. The shape of the gland reservoir is variable, from round periform to reniform, elongate or compartmentalised. Muscle fibres are often associated with the reservoir, but are notably absent in Limnephilidae. I mapped characters based on gland structures on a phylogeny of Trichoptera, and discuss the results. The sternum V gland provides potentially important characters from the superorder to the species leve l. I discuss 2 cases where characters from the sternum V gland may solve existing phylogenetic and taxonomic puzzles: Delimitation of Dipseudopsidae versus Polycentropodidae and the relationships among the hydropsychid subfamilies. "

Dudley,TL; Cooper,SD and Hemphill,N 1986. Effects of macroalgae on a stream invertebrate community. Journal North American Benthological Society 5: 93-106. Abstract and first page

Dyar,HG 1890. The number of molts of lepidopterous larvae. Psyche Nov.-Dec. 420-422.

Eskov,KYu; Ivanov,VD; Sukatsheva,ID and Wells,A 2004 Geographic history of the family Hydroptilidae (Trichoptera). In Materialy. II Vserossiyskiy simpozium po amfibioticheskim i vodnym nasekomym. Voronezh, 40-48 (in Russian)

Flint, OS and Herrmann,SJ 1976 The description of, and environmental characterization for, a new species of Ochrotrichia from Colorado (Trichoptera: Hydroptilidae). Ann. Ent. Soc. Am. 69: 894-898.

Herrmann,SJ; Ruiter,DE and Unzicker,JD 1986 Distribution and records of Colorado Trichoptera. Southwestern Naturalist 31 4, 421-457.
     This is the source for all the Hydroptilidae species on our list.

Keiper, J. B. and B. A. Foote. 1996 A simple rearing chamber for lotic insect larvae. Hydrobiologia 337:137-139.

MacKay, R. J. and G. B. Wiggins. 1979 Ecological diversity in Trichoptera. Ann. Rev. Ent. 24: 185- 208.

Marshall,JE 1979 A review of the genera of the Hydroptilidae (Trichoptera). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Entomology, 39, 135-239.

Mosely,ME 1919. Scent-organs in the genus Hydroptila (Trichoptera). Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London 1919:393-397, plates 18-19.

Mosely,ME 1924. Scent-organs in the genus Hydroptila (Trichoptera). Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London 1923:291-294, plates 14-15.

Nielsen,A 1948 Postembryonic development and biolgy of the Hydroptilidae: A contribution to the phylogeny of the caddis flies and to the question of the origin of the case-building instinct. Det KonGeLige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab 5 (1)203 pages.

Roemhild, George 1980 Pheromone glands of microcaddisflies, (Trichoptera: Hydroptilidae). Journal of Morphology 163 (1) 9-12. Abstract

Roemhild, G. 1982 The Trichoptera of Montana with distributional and ecological notes. Northwest Science 56: 8-13.

Ross, HH 1938 Descriptions of Nearctic Caddisflies. Bulletin of the Illinois Natural History Survey 21:101-183.
     Ross describes two of our local species in this paper: Hydroptila ajax and Hydroptila argosa.

Ross, HH 1941 Descriptions and records of North American Trichoptera. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 67:35-126.
     Describes Ochrotrichia logana in the genus Polytrichia.

Ross,HH 1944 The Caddis Flies, or Trichoptera, of Illinois. Natural History Survey of Illinois 23 Los Angeles, CA. 326 pages.
     Ross describes Neotrichia osmena among other caddisflies in this book.

Ruiter,DE 1990 A new species of Neotrichia (Trichoptera: Hydroptilidae) from Colorado with additions and corrections to the distribution and records of Colorado Trichoptera. Entomological News 101(2):88-92

Stanford,JA and Ward,JV 1985 The effects of regulation on the limnology of the Gunnison River: A North American case history. In: Regulated Rivers. Eds: Lillehammer,A; Saltveit,S Universitetsforlaget As., Oslo, Norway, 467-480.

Stephens,JF 1836 Illustrations of British entomology (Mandibulata). 6. Printed for the author by Baldwin and Cradock. 240 pages.
     First described the microcaddisfly family Hydroptilidae.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Assessment Data Warehouse (NAWQA) shows this family is present in Gunnison County. Data as of 1Sep2005

Wiggins, GB 1996 Larvae of the North American Caddisfly Genera (Trichoptera). 2nd Edition. University of Toronto Press, 457 pages.

Wiggins, GB and Wichard, W 1989 Phylogeny of pupation in Trichoptera, with proposals on the origin and higher classification of the order. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 8: 260-276.

Zuellig,RE; Kondratieff,BC; Rhodes,HA 2002 Benthos recovery after an episodic sediment release into a Colorado Rocky Mountain river. Western North American Naturalist 62 1, 59-72.

Brown, WS 2005 Trichoptera of Gunnison County, Colorado, USA