Santa Catarina do Brazil

David A. West & Alfred MöllerFritz Müller : a naturalist in Brazil, Blacksburg, (VA)Pocahontas Press, 2003, p. 200-201.

In 1878 Fritz’s treatise on the caddis fly cases of Santa Catarina appeared in the third volume of the Archivos, illustrated with three plates. 24 The aquatic larvae of each species build cases in  a different shape, from tiny pebbles, plant fibers, or fragments of twigs, or from material secreted by their silk-glands, and they usually attach them on or under stones in fast-flowing streams or on waterfalls. What most fascinated Fritz was the variety and ingenious construction of the cases, and he was also attracted by the thrill of being able to make discoveries in an untrodden field. «  The three plates that I drew for those observations,» he wrote to Hermann, «  please me every time I look at them. It has seldom been possible to offer so many remarkable and for the most part utterly news forms in a short article. «  25 Fritz was familiar with the pools formed in the leafy rosettes of forest bromeliads. In 1878 he recalled his first experience-liad pools many years before, and described  anex caddis fly that he had just found living there, « an aquatic animal in the forest crown », he called it.

On a hot summer day more than 25 years ago (i.e., when he first arrived in Brazil) I stood with a friend under a forest tree against whose iron.-hard trunk we had been swinging our axes for a good hour. Being still little used to that work my arms was growing tired, and we let our axes fall for a moment’s rest. Suddenly to our surprise heavy drops began falling around us from the tree’s high crown. «  The tree is starting to weep », called my friend, «  here it comes. » And scarcely had he dealt it a few last blows the proud trunk slowly began tilting with loud groans, and then with an accelerating fall came crashing to the ground. How often since that day have I greeted the tears with which a forest giant……