Not Owlfly, but Caddisfly from UK

Identification help please.
Location: Yateley, Berkshire
January 27, 2011 12:33 pm
Hi bugman,
I have tried to identify this off my own back but I’m stumped. I thought it is like a Mayfly but it doesn’t have long tail extensions.
Kind Regards
Signature: Matthew Harvey


Dear Matthew,
We believe that because of the structure of the head and antennae, that this is an Owlfly in the Neuropteran family Ascalaphidae, but we are not certain.  We had no luck finding any matching images on the internet.  BugGuide describes Owlflies as:  “Bizarre creatures that look like a cross between a dragonfly and a butterfly. The body resembles that of other neuropterans, more-or-less, but the prominent antennae are clubbed like those of butterflies. Key characters:  Medium to large size  Clubbed antennae  Eyes large and bulge out from head  may rest in cryptic posture with abdomen projecting from perch, resembling a twig
.”  The way that the individual in your photograph holds its wings seems quite different from any other images of Owlflies we have seen.

Identification thanks to Eric Eaton
Hi, Daniel:
Thanks to the Facebook post, I can help you out with this one.  Nice shot of a caddisfly, order Trichoptera.  Seems obvious to me.  Owlflies have huge eyes, clubbed antennae, and wings like dragonflies.  Granted, caddisflies normally don’t have their wings up like this one does….

Thanks for the assistance Eric.  That makes so much sense because Caddisflies are mothlike, and we thought that the head looked somewhat Lepidopteran.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults resemble moths, but wings are hairy instead of scaly.  Forewings usually dark, sturdy, sometimes with striking color patterns, held tightly together roof-like over the abdomen when at rest.  Hindwings often clear, relatively delicate, and hidden under forewings when at rest.  Antennae usually very long, threadlike, with many segments.  Chewing mouthparts with prominent palpi.  Tarsi have five segments.  Ocelli (simple eyes) present in some families.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for trying.
I found one image of an owlfly with a similar wing pose but I can see your point.
Have seen none from the UK either.
Kind Regards

Please thank Eric on my behalf.
Still can’t find an image of one with it’s wings in that position but I have to concur with Eric that he’s got it right.

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