The Stream Doctor

November 17th, 2003

Email YOUR Questions directly to the Stream Doctor. This is your opportunity to get an experts professional opinion on anything stream related.

Q. From Wvtroutbum: With all the caddis present in a yearly cycle of a stream I have recently come across a new species, at least for me, on a favorite stream. It is a cased caddis (using leaves and twigs). When the case is removed the developing pupa is cream with a dark head approximately 10 to 13mm long. This is an Eastern freestone stream that has been brought back to life by limestone fines placed in the headwaters. Any idea when these thousands of caddis will hatch and what type they are?

A. It would be foolhardy and presumptuous of me to attempt to identify your caddisfly from what you've told me. Glenn Wiggins, the author of the best taxonomic work on caddisflies, says that there are about 1400 species of caddisflies identified in North America, so you can see why I'm reluctant to hazardous even a guess to family level from your brief description. However, I'd be willing to help you get your caddis identified if you want to pursue it. One way would be for me to give you the name of someone who could do it who lives reasonably close to you. I'm guessing from your screen name that Wv means West Virginia. If you want me to do that, please confirm this and I'll try to come up with the name of a colleague you could contact. Or I'd be willing to identify it (to family and genus, but not species) for you if you want to send me some preserved specimens. In that case, they would need to be sent in glass vials in 70% alcohol. If you want to pursue either of these, contact me directly ( for the appropriate name or better instructions on how to send the specimens.

You also ask when they will hatch, but again, I couldn't do this unless I knew more about its identification.

If you have a question, please feel free to contact me.
~ C. E. (Bert) Cushing, aka Streamdoctor
105 W. Cherokee Dr.
Estes Park, CO 80517
Phone: 970-577-1584

The 'Stream Doctor' is a retired professional stream ecologist and author, now living in the West and spending way too much time fly-fishing. You are invited to submit questions relating to anything stream related directly to him for use in this Q & A Feature at

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