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A moth or not?

A moth or not?
Photo Information
Copyright: Dmitry Gavryushin (Osmeterium) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 10 W: 0 N: 158] (517)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-06-02
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D70S, AF Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5-5.6 D (reversed)
Exposure: f/16, 1/125 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-02-02 4:54
Viewed: 3818
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
It took some time for me to realize it's not a moth but a microcaddisfly (Hydroptilidae). Size 3 to 4 mm.
Hydroptilidae is probably the largest caddisfly family with 68 genera and ca. 1700 species worldwide.
Hydroptilid larvae exhibit "hypermetamorphosis", a type of complete metamorphosis during which larvae exhibit rapid development coupled with a change in morphology.
Microcaddisfly larvae are unique in many ways, and their life cycle is no exception. Eggs hatch in the laboratory in about a week to ten days. The first four instars do not build any type of case or retreat. They progress through the first four stadia very quickly (exhibiting hypermetamorphosis), requiring only 2 or 3 days per instar. Upon molting to the fifth (and final) stadium, larvae undergo morphological changes (a requirement for hypermetamorphosis):
- Body changes from dorsoventral flattening to being rounded in cross section.
- Anal prolegs and claws become short and stout.
- Abdomen grows and swells with age during the final stadium.
Unlike other trichopterans which begin case or retreat building shortly after hatching from the egg, microcaddisfly fifth instars initiate case/retreat construction. Case construction requires at least 24 hours. Most species create laterally flattened "purse-shaped" cases of minute sand grains held together with oral secretions. The terminal instar requires some 14 days to complete under laboratory conditions in many species.
Pupation, like in all Trichoptera, occurs within the sealed case or retreat. Cases are first fixed to solid substrate, then sealed to create an enclosed environment for pupation. The pupal period lasts one or two weeks under laboratory conditions.
Larvae are found in virtually all freshwater habitats. The most common and widespread genera in streams and rivers are Hydroptila and Ochrotrichia , whereas those in lakes and ponds are Orthotrichia and Oxyethira.
Adults are frequently taken at lights and resemble micro-Lepidoptera. Little is known of their mating behavior, dispersal capabilities, and other facets of their biology.

Source of information:
The Hydroptilidae Homepage (Cleveland Museum of Natural History)

Additional literature:
Marshall, J.E. (1978) - Trichoptera, Hydroptilidae (Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects 1/14a). RES: London
Marshall, J.E. (1979) - A review of the genera of the Hydroptilidae (Trichoptera) - Bull.Br.Mus.Nat.Hist. (Ent.), 39 (3): 135-239

matatur, meyerd has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Dmirtry,
Whatever it is, it is a beautiful specimen captured succesfully and displayed perfectly in a super-macro shot, very good job my friend.

Hello Dmitry,

No time, just marking today.

Ciao Dmitry,
complimenti per questa ottima macro!
Non avevo mai visto un Tricottero cosė coperto di pubescenza.
Veramente bello.

  • Great 
  • meyerd Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
  • [2008-02-04 12:12]

Hi Dmitry,
you are finally back on TN, and as usual for you, you have some surprise to offer. The excellent picture of the Caddisfly is certainly one. It must be a first on TN. Well done, Dmitry.

PS: I found that you had written me once and I did'nt look at it. My beetle picture did not show a Nitidulid as I pretended, but a Mycetophagid and you told me so. I apologize for the oversight and I thank you for the help with ID. I corrected the note accordingly. It's good to have entomologists around.
Best regards

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