Home | Species List | Bibliography

Trichoptera: Limnephilidae of Gunnison County, Colorado

Limnephilus picturatus

McLachlan, 1875
Updated 26 Apr 2021
TSN 116098

Good Links

On this website:
Introduction to Limnephilidae
Introduction to Limnephilus

Other Websites:
Photos, Map, Museum specimens, DNA - Barcodinglife.org

Illustration - University of Alberta Entomology Collection Species page
     Has illustration of male genitalia, description, habitat information, range and more.


Balik,JA; Taylor,BW; Washko,SE and Wissinger,SA 2018 High interspecific variation in nutrient excretion within a guild of closely related caddisfly species. Ecosphere, 9(5) p.e02205. PDF

Finn,DS and Poff,NL 2008 Emergence and flight activity of alpine stream insects in two years with contrasting winter snowpack. Artic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 40(4)638-646. PDF

Gislason,GM 1979. Identification of Icelandic caddis larvae, with descriptions of Limnephilus fenestratus (Zett.) and L. picturatus McL. (Trichoptera: Limnephilidae, Phryganeidae). Entomologica Scandinavica 10:161-176.
     Abstract: " A key is provided for the eleven species known from Iceland together with figures of larval case, head, prothorax, legs and anal sclerite. The larvae of Limnephilus fenestratus (Zett.) and L. picturatus McL. are described for the first time. Brief notes on the larval habitats are given."

Heinold, B., 2007 Mayflies (Ephemeroptera), stoneflies (Plecoptera), and caddisflies (Trichoptera) of the South Platte River Basin of Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming, The (Doctoral dissertation, Colorado State University. Libraries). PDF
     Quote from page 256:"The type locality of L. clausa Banks, a synonym of L. picturatus(MacLachlan), is from Long Lake, Colorado (Banks 1924). There are several "Long Lakes" in Colorado; it is unknown which Long Lake is indicated by Banks (Herrmann et al. 1986). This northern Holarctic species can be common in the upper elevations of the SPRB, particularly near willow carrs. Specimens were collected at elevations from 2743 m to 3550 m. Adults were present July to September."

Herrmann,SJ; Ruiter,DE and Unzicker,JD 1986 Distribution and records of Colorado Trichoptera. Southwestern Naturalist 31 4, 421-457.
     The authors show this species present in Gunnison County.

McLachlan, R 1875. Descriptions de plusieurs nevropteres-planipennes et trichopteres nouveaus de l'ile de Celebes et de quelques especis nouvelles de Dipseudopsis avec considerations sur ce genre. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 18:1-32, plates 1-2.

Nimmo, A 1971 The adult Rhyacophilidae and Limnephilidae (Trichoptera) of Alberta and eastern British Columbia and their post glacial origin. Quaestiones Entomologicae 73: 3-234.

Ruiter,DE 1995 The adult Limnephilus Leach (Trichoptera:Limnephilidae) of the new world. Vol. XI Ohio Biological Survey, College of Biological Sciences, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. 200 pages.

Shepard,ID; Wissinger,SA and Greig,HS 2021 Elevation alters outcome of competition between resident and range-shifting species. Global Change Biology, 27(2) 270-281.
     Abstract: "Species' geographic range shifts toward higher latitudes and elevations are among the most frequently reported consequences of climate change. However, the role of species interactions in setting range margins remains poorly understood. We used cage experiments in ponds to test competing hypotheses about the role of abiotic and biotic mechanisms for structuring range boundaries of an upslope range-shifting caddisfly Limnephilus picturatus. We found that competition with a ubiquitous species Limnephilus externus significantly decreased L. picturatus survival and emergence at subalpine elevations supporting the notion that species interactions play a critical role in determining upslope range limits. However, without competitors, L. picturatus survival was greater at highelevation than lowelevation sites. This was contrary to decreases in body mass (a proxy for fecundity) with elevation regardless of the presence of competitors. We ultimately show that species interactions can be important for setting upslope range margins. Yet, our results also highlight the complications in defining what may be abiotically stressful for this species and the importance of considering multiple demographic variables. Understanding how species ranges will respond in a changing climate will require quantifying species interactions and how they are influenced by the abiotic context in which they play out."

Waringer,J; Graf,W and Malicky,H 2011 Description of the larvae of Limnephilus femoratus (Zetterstedt, 1840) and Limnephilus subnitidus McLachlan, 1875, with additional notes on Limnephilus picturatus McLachlan, 1875 (Trichoptera: Limnephilidae). Aquatic insects, 33(4), 371-380.
     Abstract: " The paper gives a description of the hitherto unknown larvae of Limnephilus femoratus (Zetterstedt, 1840) and Limnephilus subnitidus McLachlan, 1875. Information on the morphology of the fifth instar larvae is given, and the most important diagnostic features are illustrated. In the context of already available keys, the larva of Limnephilus femoratus (Zetterstedt, 1840) keys out together with L. borealis (Zetterstedt, 1840) and L. fuscinervis (Zetterstedt, 1840). Both species may be separated by gill positions and the coloration of the ventral edge setae on the foreleg femur. Limnephilus subnitidus keys together with L. centralis Curtis, 1834 and L. bipunctatus Curtis, 1834. In this case, the species can be separated by the number of intermediate c-setae on the ninth abdominal tergite and differences in head width. Finally, L. picturatus keys out together with L. binotatus or L. decipiens, which may be separated by the length of the tarsal claws of mid and hind legs. With respect to zoogeography, Limnephilus femoratus and L. subnitidus have a boreal distribution and are known from Russia, Sweden and Norway; they are limnobionts and typical inhabitants of the littoral zone of lakes and swamps."

Wissinger,SA; Brown,WS and Jannot,JE 2003 Caddisfly life histories along permanence gradients in high altitude wetlands in Colorado (U.S.A.). Freshwater Biology 48(2). Abstract Pdf Icon (427 KB)
     " SUMMARY 1. Larvae of cased caddisflies (Limnephilidae and Phryganeidae) are among the most abundant and conspicuous invertebrates in northern wetlands. Although species replacements are often observed along permanence gradients, the underlying causal mechanisms are poorly understood. In this paper, we report on the distributional patterns of caddisflies in permanent and temporary high-altitude ponds, and how those patterns reflect differences in life history characteristics that affect desiccation tolerance (fundamental niches) versus constraints related to biotic interactions (realised niches).
2. Species (Hesperophylax occidentalis and Agrypnia deflata) that were encountered only in permanent ponds are restricted in distribution by life history (no ovarian diapause, aquatic oviposition, and/or inability to tolerate desiccation). Although the egg masses of H. occidentalis tolerate desiccation, the larvae leave the protective gelatinous matrix of the egg mass because adults oviposit in water.
3. Three species (Asynarchus nigriculus, Limnephilus externus and L. picturatus) have life history characteristics (rapid larval growth, ovarian diapause and terrestrial oviposition of desiccation-tolerant eggs) that should facilitate the use of both permanent and temporary habitats. However, A. nigriculus is rare or absent in most permanent ponds, and L. externus and L. picturatus are rare or absent in most temporary ponds. Experimental data from a previous study on the combined effects of salamander predation and interspecific interactions among caddisflies (e.g. intraguild predation) suggest that biotic interactions limit each species to a subset of potentially exploitable habitats.
4. Many wetland invertebrates exhibit species replacements along permanence gradients, but few studies have separated the relative importance of the effects of drying per se from the effects of biotic interactions. Our results emphasise the complementary roles of comparative data on life histories and experimental data on competition and predation for understanding invertebrate distributions along permanence gradients."

Wissinger,SA; Eldermire,C and Whissel,JC 2005 The role of larval cases in reducing aggression and cannibalism among caddisflies in temporary wetlands. Wetlands 24(4) 777-783. PDF
     Abstract: " Larvae of wetland caddisflies supplement their detrital diets with animal material. In some species this supplement is obtained by preying on other caddisflies. In this study, we conducted a series of laboratory experiments to a) compare intraspecific aggression and the propensity for cannibalism among six caddisfly species that occur along a gradient from vernal to autumnal to permanent high-elevation wetlands, and b) determine the importance of cases in preventing or reducing cannibalism and intraguild predation. We predicted that cannibalism and overall levels of aggression should be highest in species that occur in temporary habitats. We found that all of the species that use temporary habitats (Asynarchus nigriculus ,Hesperophylax occidentalis, Limnephilus externus, Limnephilus picturatus, Limnephilus secludens) were extremely aggressive towards and cannibalized conspecifics without cases. Species that typically occur in short-duration temporary wetlands were more aggressive than those in long-duration temporary wetlands. Cases prevented cannibalism in four of these temporary-habitat species, and reduced cannibalism among Asynarchus larvae. The latter species occurs in extremely ephemeral habitats where cannibalism provides a dietary supplement that probably facilitates emergence before drying. Asynarchus also preys on Limnephilus spp., and we found that cases dramatically reduced vulnerability to intraguild predation. Larvae of Agrypnia deflata, a species that occurs only in permanent wetlands, were least aggressive and rarely cannibalized conspecifics. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that intraspecific aggression and the potential for cannibalism are highest in species that live in habitats with developmental time constraints. Many wetland invertebrates face developmental time constraints and selection for aggression in temporary habitats should be especially strong for taxa that rely on animal material to supplement a mainly detrital diet."

Wissinger,SA; Whissel,J; Eldermire,C and Brown,W 2006 Predator defense along a permanence gradient: roles of case structure, behavior, and developmental phenology in caddisflies, Oecologia, Pages 1 - 12. Abstract (311 KB)
     Abstract: "Species replacements along freshwater permanence gradients are well documented, but underlying mechanisms are poorly understood for most taxa. In subalpine wetlands in Colorado, the relative abundance of caddisfly larvae shifts from temporary to permanent basins. Predators on caddisflies also shift along this gradient; salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum) in permanent ponds are replaced by predaceous diving beetles (Dytiscus dauricus) in temporary habitats. We conducted laboratory and field experiments to determine the effectiveness of caddisfly cases in reducing vulnerability to these predators. We found that larvae of a temporary-habitat caddisfly (Asynarchus nigriculus) were the most vulnerable to salamanders. Two relatively invulnerable species (Limnephilus externus, L. picturatus) exhibited behaviors that reduced the likelihood of detection and attack, whereas the least vulnerable species (Agrypnia deflata) was frequently detected and attacked, but rarely captured because cases provided an effective refuge. Vulnerability to beetle predation was also affected by cases. The stout cases of L. externus larvae frequently deterred beetle larvae, whereas the tubular cases of the other species were relatively ineffective. Two of these vulnerable species (A. nigriculus and L. picturatus) often co-occur with beetles; thus, case construction alone is insufficient to explain patterns of caddisfly coexistence along the permanence gradient. One explanation for the coexistence of these two species with beetles is that they develop rapidly during early summer and pupate before beetle larvae become abundant. One species (L. picturatus) pupates by burying into soft substrates that serve as a refuge. The other (A. nigriculus) builds stone pupal cases, which in field experiments, more than doubles survival compared to organic pupal cases. The combined results of these experiments suggest that caddisfly distributions along permanence gradients depend on a suite of primary and secondary predator defenses that include larval and pupal case structure, predator-specific escape behaviors, and the phenology of larval development."

Brown,WS 2005 Trichoptera (Caddisflies) of Gunnison County, Colorado, USA