The lady in question

Anonyme, « The caddis fly », Vick’s Monthly Magazine, New York, Vick’s Publishing Co., janvier, 1880, pp. 62-63.

While in the larva state, they live in a very curious house, which they construct for themselves of little bits of sticks, shells, or other materials, selected according to the force of the stream in which they reside.

A Miss E.M. Smee writes an interesting article on the Caddis-worm and its houses, in which she relates her experience with these wonderful little house-builders. The lady in question was so much interested in watching them in their strange homes, as they moved along the bottom of the litle streams, that a number were procured for more exact observation. The Caddis-worms were turned out of their dwellings, and each was placed in a separate glass of water, with various materials suitable for the construction of their houses, when the nude creatures immediately set to work to make new houses for self-protection, and never stopped till the greater part of the body was securely encased.
By giving to each worm one kind of material only, they were unable to exercise any choice, and this obliged each individual to make a house of such material as was given it; thus a great variety of houses were secured. Beautiful cases were made of fragments of colored glass, amethyst, rock crystal, cornelian, agate, coral, marble, small shells, and pieces of pearl. When the little creatures were supplied with brass shavings, or gold and silver leaf, they could only make an irregular case; with fragments of a tortoise-shell comb, one formed a case like a hedgehog. They were unable to make cases at all of round beads; neither could they succeeds with slate, coal, brick, lead, or copper, and if supplied with chips of resinous wood the creatures were always destroyed.