Eastern Caddisfly

Eastern caddisfly is a name that many people use for a caddisfly or sedge. Another one particular species is named Eastern Box Wing Sedge.

Like all of the caddisflies, the eastern box wing sedge is a member of the order Trichoptera. Scientists gave them that name because these insects have tiny hairs on their wings. The name Trichoptera comes from Greek words that mean “hairy wing”. When these insects are resting, they fold their wings over their bodies like small tents.

The eastern box wing sedge belongs to the genus Ironoquia. Entomologists in the Pacific Northwest and in other parts of the United States have described this caddisfly.

There are at least six caddisfly species in the genus Ironoquia that have been identified. They are widely distributed across North America from Alabama to Canada and from Maine to Alaska.

One Ironoquia species, I. plattensis (Alexander & White) was identified in the year 2000. It has only been found in Nebraska. Other species, like I. punctatissima (Walker) has been known for more than 100 years. It is found all across the United States, from Florida to Alaska.

The eastern caddisflies are aquatic insects. The adults deposit their eggs in fresh water. The larvae go to the bottom where they build protective cases. The eastern box wing sedge makes its larval case of twigs and other plant material that it excavates from the bottom of the pond.

When it completes its larva stage, the larva closes its case so it can change into an adult. During the late summer, this takes about two weeks. After completing the change, the caddisfly comes to the surface of the water. It breaks out of the pupa case and emerges as an adult.

The adult eastern box wing sedge has a golden-brown body. The wings are also golden-brown. After mating, the females deposit their eggs in the water and the life cycle is repeated. Caddisflies that develop in the fall usually spend the winter in their pupal case and emerge in the spring.