Prose Idylls

Rev. Charles Kingsley, Prose Idylls, new and old, Londres, Macmillan & Co., 1870.

The large Phryganeae, or true caperers, whose caddis-built love, still pools and stagnant ditches, are there rare ; and the office of water-scavenger is fulfilled by the Rhyacophiles (torrent-lovers) and Hydropsyches, whose tiny pebble-houses are fixed to the stones to resist the violence of the summer flodds. In and out of them the tiny larva runs to find food, making in addition, in some species galleries of earth along the surface of the stones in which he takes his walks abroad in full security. In any of the Brown rivulets of Windsor forest, towards the middle of summer, the pebble-houses of these little creatures may be seen in millions, studding every stone.


These delicate fairies make moveable cases, or rather pipes, of the finest sand, generally curved, and resembling in shape the Dentalium shell…..//… I could not tread upon the limestone slabs without crushing at every step hundred of the delicate Mystacide tubes, which literally paved  the shallow edge of the stream, and which would have been metamorphosed in due time into small sooty moth-like fairies, best represented…



Not to these, however, but to the Phryganeae (who, when sticks and pebbles fail, often make their tubes of sand, e.g. P.  flava), should I refer the red-cow fly, which isalmost the only autumn killer in the Dartmoor streams.

p. 73.