ADLib Glossary (C)

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Caddisfly

The Caddisfly is light brown and covered with white hairs. The adult caddisfly is much like a small moth with hairs on the four wings and long, slender antennae These wings are held like roofs over their heads while at rest. Caddisflies also have a tongue that laps or soaks up liquid foods. The body colour of the larvae varies from yellow and green to brown.

The larva of the caddisfly generally lives in flowing waters on the bottom surface of the habitat. Most species live in tubes or cases they construct from sand, pebbles, pieces of leaves and wood.

 As they move about they drag the case with them, with only their front ends and legs sticking out. These cylindrical cases are a form of protection. They will retract into this case when threatened or startled. They eat algae, decaying plant matter and micro-organisms.

Caddisfly and their larvae are very sensitive to water quality and are used as indicators of such. Their population will quickly diminish in polluted waters or where oxygen is depleted.

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