T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Caddisfly nymph (Genus: Triplectides) Stick caddis

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Insecta
Subclass: Pterygota (caddisflies)
Order: Trichoptera
Suborder Integripalpia
Superfamily Leptoceroidea
Family Leptoceridae
Genus Triplectides
Common name: Stick caddis, Stick caddisfly nymph, 

The “stick caddis” Triplectidesis is our most common leptocerid caddisfly. Triplectides larvae are common in both hard and soft bottom streams, in areas of bush cover, farmland and sometimes in urban areas.
As in other leptocerids the hind legs are much longer than the forelegs and have dark bands between the leg joints.
They are often found in streams with abundant leaf litter because they are shredders. They feed on leaf litter (and the microbes decomposing the litter).
Triplectides caddis larvae construct mobile cases primarily out of plant matter such as a hollow stick or a tubular collection of many plant fragments such as leaf litter and fine woody debris. Not all Triplectides species use such a case, some use stones in all sorts of configurations to create a mobile home. They sometimes use the disused cases of other caddis genera. Often they will decorate their cases with snail shells and various hard body parts from other invertebrate groups.

Photos below are of a nymph of Triplectides obsoletus in case.




A nymph removed from its case.