A Caddisfly - Parapsyche almota
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Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
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Instream habitat: Hydropsychid larval populations can be very abundant in many Montana river aquatic communities. Larvae are restricted to moderate or fast flowing waters (very cold: Parapsyche--warmwater: Cheumatopsyche), living on cobbles/rocks, boulders or submerged logs
Larvae are omnivorous, and use a silken capture net to filter food particles from the flowing water column, including algae, organic particles (detritus) and small invertebrates.
Hydropschidae caddisflies fill the filterer-collector ecological feeding niche of the stream and rivers where they reside. Larvae construct fixed retreats, incorporating plant fragments and mineral particles, on the upper surface or side of stable substrates (cobbles, boulders, logs). A silken capture net is also constructed, which is suspended in the current near the upstream entrance to the retreat. Larvae obtain oxygen from the water through paired ventral gills on each abdominal segment. Some species are able to tolerate fairly warm temperatures as long as they are highly oxygeated. Larval populations thrive at sites impacted by moderate organic enrichment. Their feeding method leads to the common name of ‘net-spinning caddis’.
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