Last night at CFF I was fortunate enough to listen to a presentation by Mr. Bug man Rick Hafele. His lecture was on Understanding Emergers.
I believe now that I have definitely gone into the wrong field of work. How much fun it would be to study entomology and biology? Since I started fly fishing a few years ago, watching the bugs has been almost more fascinating to me than fly fishing itself.
What did I take away from this presentation…. so much it may take a few blog posts to go through it all. One of the interesting topics he brought up were that there are chirping caddis. This net spinning caddis is in the family of Hydropsychidae, a large family with over 100 different species. First they are called net spinning caddis because the larvae build spider-like webs or nets in ways that the water can flow through them and strain particles including food in the water column. This is one of the most numerous caddis in streams because of the success of the nets. They can become so numerous that they have come up with their own system to prevent overcrowding. Net spinning caddis have come up with a chirping system to define their territory and minimize other larvae from invading their nets.
These chirps are made by rubbing part of the front legs against a series of fine grooves on the underside of their head. The resulting chirps are loud enough to
be picked up by microphones placed underwater (sorry, I don’t have any
recordings to play for you, so for now you’ll just have to take my word for
it). As you might guess different species have different sized grooves and
different front legs, so they produce different sounding chirps. Just so you
know I’m not totally making this up, here’s a quote from the book, Caddisflies – The underwater architects by Glen B
I have read some articles he has written before, I have seen some videos of his on youtube and on DVD, but it didn’t match to his excitement to watching him live. I could not take notes fast enough. My love of bugs have become much deeper.