I’ve always had a real affection for caddis fly cases since first reading about them in Annie Dillard’s Tinker at Pilgrim Creek.
She writes about not being able to ever see them and, when she finally does, they are everywhere.
And each case is a production of one single larva building out of materials at hand a hard case to protect his soft body.
So, of course, finding a small rock this encrusted with the cases set my day out in the woods off to a very good start.
What I posted on FB yesterday:
Well, after paying $50 to an IT “pro” I found on Craigslist neither laptop is fixed — in fact this one I use at DD right now, is in worse shape and it took forever to sign in. I was so disguted that we never even got around to the Fire Stick. Ah well, went to the cool woods and it helped. Sat by one of the little streams and picked up a rock and it was absolutely loaded with these interesting caddis fly cases.
While caddisfly larvae tend to closely resemble caterpillars, caterpillars have many appendages along their abdominal segment (called prolegs). Caddisfly larvae, however, have only a single pair located near the tip of the abdomen.
The cases that caddisfly larvae construct provide protection from predators, but also provide camouflage, helping them blend into their surroundings. Caddisfly larvae have very soft bodies, and the case also acts as a barrier from the abrasive substrate.
Caddisflies are closely related to butterflies and moths.
The shape of the cases, along with the types of materials used to create them, vary between different caddisfly species.
When the female goes underwater to lay her eggs, she can stay under for up to 30 minutes while she glues her eggs to submerged rocks and vegetation. She does this by using air that is trapped on her tiny hairs for oxygen.
An artist named Hubert Dubrat uses caddisflies to create unique sculptural forms. He removes caddisfly larvae from their existing cases, and then places them into an environment containing such materials as gold flakes, precious gems, and pearls, and leaves them to make cases out of these materials