Caddisflies are soft-bodied insects with two pairs of wings clothed with silky hairs. Adults are common around streams. Adults have long antennae, hairy wings (folded tent-like over their body) and resemble small, dull-colored moths. Adults do not feed and have reduced, non-functional, sucking mouthparts.
Larvae have chewing mouthparts and resemble caterpillars. They have hooks to hold them on the end of the abdomen and may have gill filaments on the abdomen. Larvae can spin silk webs which is used to build the cases and to capture food from the water.
Adults and larvae are important components of the food chain for fish and other aquatic organisms. Larvae live in water and most build cases in which to live. Larval cases are made of plant material, sand, stones or other debris. Caddis cases are typically characteristic for the families of caddisflies. Larvae are scavengers, herbivores or predators with chewing mouthparts.
Metamorphosis is complete. Most caddisflies are under 1/2 inch long.