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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

Lateral view of a Psychodidae True Fly Larva from Mystery Creek #308 in Washington
This wild-looking little thing completely puzzled me. At first I was thinking beetle or month larva, until I got a look at the pictures on the computer screen. I made a couple of incorrect guesses before entomologist Greg Courtney pointed me in the right direction with Psychodidae. He suggested a possible genus of Thornburghiella, but could not rule out some other members of the tribe Pericomini.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Caddisfly Family Polycentropodidae

These small caddisflies are of occasional importance, but the family doesn't include any major superhatches.

Where & when

In 1533 records from GBIF, adults of this family have mostly been collected during June (31%), July (27%), August (15%), May (15%), and September (6%).

In 509 records from GBIF, this family has been collected at elevations ranging from 3 to 10663 ft, with an average (median) of 1299 ft.

Family Range

Hatching behavior

The pupae emerge on the surface.

Egg-Laying behavior

Females of this family lay their eggs on the bottom, either by diving down or crawling down objects.

Larva & pupa biology

Diet: Smaller aquatic insects

Current speed: Slow or still

Shelter type: Wide variety of nets and net-like structures

Specimens of the Caddisfly Family Polycentropodidae

1 Adult
2 Larvae

Discussions of Polycentropodidae

Polycentropodidae or?
14 replies
Posted by LowBudget on Oct 1, 2013
Last reply on Jul 24, 2014 by Crepuscular
The first image is of a live caddis. It was collected from Trout Creek which is in the Delaware River watershed in upstate NY. The background is 1/4 inch ruled graph paper which is under the Petrie dish holding the caddis with water.

The second shows small silk nets found on rocks in the same stream during the same sampling.

I've been working all of my ID books including "Freshwater Macroinvertebrates of Northeastern North America" by Peckarsky.

The upper lip does not seem to have the T shape of a Fingernet caddis. It does have the heavy mandible with a brush of Polycentropodidae.

But, I'm not completely satisfied.

Anyone have thoughts on this?


Start a Discussion of Polycentropodidae


  • LaFontaine, Gary. 1981. Caddisflies. The Lyons Press.
  • Morse, JC. 1972. The genus Nyctiophylax in North America. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 42(2): 172-181.
  • Swisher, Doug and Carl Richards. 2000. Selective Trout. The Lyons Press.

Caddisfly Family Polycentropodidae

Genus in Polycentropodidae: Holocentropus, Neureclipsis, Nyctiophylax, Polycentropus
4 genera (Cernotina, Cyrnellus, Plectrocnemia, and Polyplectropus) aren't included.
Family Range
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