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Trichoptera: Limnephilidae of Gunnison County, Colorado

Grammotaulius lorettae

Denning 1941
Updated 17 Apr 2020
TSN 116314

Grammotaulis case
Grammotaulis case, part of the head and a few legs are barely peeking out of the left side.


Larval cases are often the biggest structures pulled out of a pond in the upper East River Valley or in the ponds near Irwin Lake in the late spring or early summer. They are always found with Carex aquatilius or Carex rostrata, or another large grass they can use to build their 10cm long cases. They have a tan or golden head with brown spots. The earliest instars are easily confused in the pond with Limnephilus picturatus. However, L. picturatus has a darker head and is a small to average sized caddis in our valley in its final instars, while Grammotaulis larvae are big and their cases are uniquely gigantic in their last few instars. Also L. picturatus is found at higher elevations, while Grammotaulius are present at or below 3000 meters.

Good Links

On this website:
Limnephilidae Introduction

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


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

Denning, DG 1941 The genus Grammotaulius in North America, with the description of a new species (Trichoptera, Limnephilidae). The Canadian Entomologist 73:232-235.
     Abstract: " Four species of the Genus Grammotaulius, one of which is now considered a synonym, have been recognized in North America. These have been recorded only from Greenland, Canada, and northwestern United States. In August, 1940, Dr. C. E. Mickel and Mr. H. E. Milliron collected a series including both sexes of a new species in Colorado."

Flint,OS, Jr. 1960. Taxonomy and biology of Nearctic limnephilid larvae (Trichoptera), with special reference to species in eastern United States. Entomologica Americana 40:1-120.
     Describes the larvae of this species from a pond near Irwin.

Herrmann,SJ; Ruiter,DE and Unzicker,JD 1986: Distribution and records of Colorado Trichoptera. Southwestern Naturalist 31(4), 421-457.
     Notes this species is found in Gunnison County.

McCullagh,BS; Wissinger,SA and Marcus,JM 2015 Identifying PCR primers to facilitate molecular phylogenetics in Caddisflies (Trichoptera). Zoological Systematics, 40(4) 459 PDF

Schmid,F 1950 Monographie du genre Grammotaulis Kolenati (Trichoptera, Limnophilidae). Revue Suisse de Zoologie 57(7):317-52.
     The author studied adults of Grammotaulius.

Schmid,F 1964 Some nearctic species of Grammotaulius Kol (Trichoptera, Limnophilidae). Canadian Entomologist 96(6):914-917.
     More studies of Grammotaulius adults.

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 (427 KB)

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