I once got some video of a tube cased Caddis Larva, struggling to get across the shallow water habitat, in a bit of a current. The bug would get washed free and roll along, like it was just a normal days outing. The Caddis had picked a hollow twig for its shelter, but whether it was responsible for hollowing out the small twig, is a mystery. The Caddis do have very strong mandibles, so it is possible. I observed a Great Late Summer Caddis Larva, eat a shrimp like it was a snack, one time, so I know that they can shred a core out of a decaying twig, with ease. Some members of the Caddis family are grazers, so they can eat plant material like a caterpillar would, a leaf.
There are a true tube cased Caddis fly larva, which make their own tubes, spun from the silk that they use to hold other types of cases together. The silk is like a glue, and the caterpillar uses the same kind of silk, thus the name silk worm. The Caddis featured in this video below, is a Caddis that has utilized the hollow twig, much the same way that a hermit crab would. The idea is to protect its vulnerable abdomen.
In any case, the video of the rolling caddis larva is an interesting view into the life of another aquatic invertebrate. Keep your eyes peeled for other invertebrates in the video. Please check it out.
You will also see a small Mayfly catching a ride on another cased Caddis shown in this video. Keep your eye open for this. There are other smaller cased Caddis larva in the show.
The First Snow
On October 12th, the first snow came during the early morning hours. My walk along the creek showed that the flows were even better in the creek this morning, due to the melting snow, but also the leaf clutter was starting to collect behind rocks and limbs in the stream channel. This nutrient added to the creek will provide great forage for some Caddis fly larva in the stream, and other aquatic invertebrates will benefit as well. The ground was getting pretty dry, but the plantings of willows and trees were already entering their dormant period, after a long growing season this year.
The beavers are busy building up their food cache and dams in some areas of the local trout streams. This submerged wood will also enrich the creek’s food supply for the insects and microbial life that benefit for it. This enrichment will be good for the winter months and when the ice melts in the spring, the added supply of fish food, will get things off to a resounding start to the open water seasons.
The colors of fall, despite the snow, are still hanging heavy along the Bighill Creek, here in Cochrane. The purple color of red osier dogwood leaves is very dark on some of the willows. A warmer jacket is now required for the start of my morning walks, if I am out the door too early. On my exploration of local trout streams, it seems the spawning is going to be a little later in the fall this year. Maybe the trout know something that we don’t.