Water Bug from Mendocino
Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 8:09 AM
Hi WTB. I am easily freaked out by bugs but have a strange obsession with your site, as I came across it trying to identify a beetle. I live in Mendocino and was excited to see that you came here, I even joked to my boyfriend I was going to track you down and make you look at my pictures! Anyway the bug I want identified today was found in the Noyo River last week. I’ve posted two different pictures- It seemed to me it was the same bug, but at different stages in it’s life…? The first pic. is when we put it on land. It was narrow at the butt, wider at the head, with a big whole that it “went into” when it was bugged with. They both had little stones all over their body. The second picture looked the same, but it had things shooting from its backside. It loo ked like its defense would be to look like some kind of tree fallings. They were found in shallow water on the rocks and once we started looking for them they were everywhere!
P.S. I see easily 25 banana slugs a day if you decide that you would in fact like a pic. of one!
Northern California- on the Coast
These are Caddisfly Larvae. Caddisflies are in the order Trichoptera. Caddisfly Larvae create homes for themselves by cementing stones, twigs, shells and other debris. The larvae are called Caseworms. According to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin: “The shape and method of construction of the case is characteristic for a species or group of species, and the variety in these ‘mobile homes’ is extensive: they may be purse-shaped, tubular, curved, snail-shaped, or rectangular, and there are even types with sticks set in an ascending square framework that mimics a little log cabin.” There is a picture in Hogue’s book that looks very similar to your examples and it is listed as being in the genus Hesperophylax. We were in the Mendocino Woodlands campground near Fort Bragg and we are sad you did not try to find us. We would love a Banana Slug image. Please title the letter Banana Slug.