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Net-building caddis (Aoteapsyche)

Taxonomic group

Hydropsychidae: Aoteapsyche

Diagnostic features

Hydropsychid caddis larvae have hardened (sclerotised) plates on each of the 3 thoracic segments, and gill tufts under the abdomen. Aoteapsyche caddis larvae are distinguished by the presence of fine hairs covering the abdomen, and 7 sets of abdominal gills.

Typical habitats

Aoteapsyche larvae are abundant in many stony streams and rivers, and they reach greatest abundance downstream of lake outlets.


They construct filter-feeding nets attached to the streambed to trap drifting particulate food items, including algae and other invertebrates.

Indicator value

  • Hard bottom: 4
  • Soft bottom: 6

The tolerance values (ranging from 0 to 10) give an indication of which are the sensitive taxa (values of 8 or more) and which are the tolerant taxa (values of 3 or less). For more information see: Indicator species

Aoteapsyche larvae are common in streams of moderate to good quality, so they are not particularly useful as water quality indicators. They have tolerance values of 4 (hard bottom sites) and 6 (soft bottom sites).