Caddis Fly (Brachycentrus subnubilus)
Walk by any water course in spring or summer; a slow moving river, a fast flowing stream, a pond, a lake, even a drainage ditch and there is a pretty good chance you will encounter a cloud of smallish, fluttering insects. Always active and rarely landing but when they do land on vegetation they just seem to disappear because their colouring and markings provide such good camouflage.
If you witness this, the chances are they are caddis flies, and one of the first to emerge each spring and one of most common species is Brachycentrus subnubilus. It does not have a common name so that might be a bit difficult to remember! This is a species of slow moving rivers and so can be seen along our chalk streams as they near the sea.
Caddis flies spend most of their live as larvae in the bottom of the river. Some species are known for covering themselves with small stones and grit, this species uses dead vegetable material. This provides them with degree of protection but many millions of larvae become fish food! They emerge and mate, then die quite quickly.
Find out more about this species here: