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Pteronarcys californica

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

Caddisfly Genus Psychoglypha (Snow Sedges)

These caddisflies may be important to the winter angler because they are one of the only insects around. Gary LaFontaine relays an interesting correspondence about this genus in Caddisflies:

Dr. George Roemhild explained to me how he finds these winter caddisflies in February and March: "They crawl up on the snowbanks, but when the sun hits their dark wings they melt down out of sight. That's how I collect them, by walking along looking for holes in the snow."

I will keep an eye out this winter and hopefully collect some specimens to photograph.

Hatching behavior

Time of day : Warmest part of the day

Habitat: Warm shallows

On bright winter days when the trout move into the shallows to sun themselves, these caddisflies may pick the same destination to emerge and the trout will feed.

Larva & pupa biology

Diet: Leaf matter, algae, dead animals

The larvae are the most important stage of Psychoglypha. They are especially prone to behavioral drift and, unlike most species, they do it during the daytime.

Specimens of the Caddisfly Genus Psychoglypha

1 Female Adult
Female Psychoglypha alascensis (Snow Sedge) Caddisfly Adult
This specimen was 22 mm.
1 Male Adult
Male Psychoglypha (Snow Sedges) Caddisfly Adult
This Psychoglypha adult was found clinging to my garage door in the evening on April 9, 2013. It measures 21 mm in length, from the front of head to the end of wings. It is my hope that Creno will be able to identify it to species based on the image of its genitalia. However, if other images are required for a species ID, the specimen is available, so they can be easily taken. Thanks, Roger Rohrbeck, Mercer Island, WA.

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  • LaFontaine, Gary. 1981. Caddisflies. The Lyons Press.
Species in Psychoglypha
Psychoglypha alascensisSnow Sedge13
Psychoglypha subborealisSnow Sedge00
12 species (Psychoglypha avigo, Psychoglypha bellus, Psychoglypha browni, Psychoglypha klamathi, Psychoglypha leechi, Psychoglypha mazamae, Psychoglypha ormiae, Psychoglypha pritus, Psychoglypha rossi, Psychoglypha schmidi, Psychoglypha schuhi, and Psychoglypha smithi) aren't included.
Genus Range
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