What is this
Location: Yosemite, CA
August 30, 2011 2:43 pm
Last week we went camping for a few days in Yosemite and while playing in the river I kept noticing that every once in a while bubbles would come out of the sand. While trying to find the culprit I found this strange bug thing that kind of resembles a hermit crab. At first it looked like it had a shell with a beetle head sticking out of it. But after taking a closer look you see that it’s just a bunch of rocks and stuff stuck to it’s back. It stayed completely submerged under water the entire time we were there. Never seen anything like it. Picked it up. Took a picture of it and then put it back. I’ve searched on-line but never found anything close to it.
Signature: Super Curious in SoCal
Dear Super Curious,
We were puzzled at first by viewing your photo, but upon reading your email, we are certain that this is the larva of a Caddisfly. They are frequently called Casemakers or Caseworms because of the shelters that are constructed by the larvae for protection. Each species of Caddisfly constructs a unique case. Some use twigs, and others use pebbles or shells for their homes.
Thanks a bunch! I looked around at Caddisfly information after reading your e-mail and I’m sure that’s it. It was really weird….it had a head that looked like a beetle and I never knew one could live underneath the water. Always thought of aquatic bugs as kind of floating around on the surface. Anyway, your site is great! Love all the pictures.