Caddisflies And People

Some South American native peoples use larval cases as earrings and as beads for necklaces. Beginning in the 1980s, the visual artist Hubert Duprat utilized caddisflies to create unique sculptural forms. He first removed larvae from their natural habitat, and then he provided the larvae with different colored pebbles, sand, or ground up seashells or glass materials. The caddisflies used these materials to build "jeweled" cases. Since then other companies have used this method to make earrings, necklaces and other types of jewelry.

Salmon and other fishes eat caddisfly larvae, pupae, and adults. Fly fishermen make all sorts of lures that mimic the various stages of caddisfly development and use them instead of bait to catch fish.

A few species of caddisflies are considered pests. Some chew on wood structures in the water, while others nibble on rice plants and aquatic ornamental plants sold in nurseries. The adults are often attracted by the thousands to lights, clogging air conditioners with their bodies. Others lay their eggs on the shiny road surface, mistaking it for water. Thousands of crushed eggs make the roads slippery and a hazard to drivers.

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