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Long-horned Caddis Fly Mystacides longicornis

The Long-horned Caddis Fly is a rather small species measuring 5.5 to 7.5 mm. It has very long antennae: up to two times the wings. The front wing is ochrous or olive and has three distinct dark bands running over them. The wings are quite narrow and the wingspan is up to 20 mm. The eyes are big, especially among males, and brownish or even red in sunlight. It is one of the easiest Caddis Flies to identify.

The adults can be seen from May to the end of September. The species prefers standing waters, such as lakes and ponds, including ponds in city parks. Contrary to many other Caddis Flies the Long-horned Caddis Fly is an excellent flyer. From dusk onwards males may dance over the water in huge numbers. You may take them for Long-horn Moths by mistake.

The larvae build a beautiful, straight case, which is covered in grains of sand. The larvae are vegetarians, even though they sometimes eat other small water animals. This is a common species all over Europe and Siberia, including most of Britain.

Among fly fisherman this species is better known as the Grouse Wing. The hackle is especially used for trout fishing.