Young naturalist

Anonyme, « Skilled Masonry by Insects », St Nicholas a monthly magazine for boys and girls, vol. 42, n°8, juin, New York, Century Co., 1915, p. 751.

When a young naturalist lies face downward at the bank of a brook, and with shaded eyes watches the busy life there, he is often astonished to see little masses, or tubes, of fine stones moving about, as if they were alive. If he catches one of these little masses of stones, he will find that it is the home of an insect. This is know as a caddis-fly larva. They are many varieties of these flies, and the larva make all sorts of homes from various materials. Some fasten together small parts of straws in log cabin style.
The accompanying illustration shows an unusually good specimen where all the tiny particles are well put together. In this tube at the left, considerable ingenuity is manifested in fitting the longer pieces in with the others. No one knows exactly how the insect is able to arrange these particles and fasten them together. The insect spins a kind of silky material from its mouth much as do caterpillars. But how remarkable it is that they can fasten this silk to the wet stones or other material and get all the particles well arranged and snugly together ! These little stone or stick-homes serve the protect the caddis-fly larvae from hungry fish. The dweller in this curious home also extends from the silkers net.