Annales de Limnologie - International Journal of Limnology

Research Article

Distribution and ecology of the caddisflies (Trichoptera) of Flanders (Belgium)

Koen Locka1 c1 and Peter L.M. Goethalsa1

a1 Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, J. Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Gent, Belgium


Based on a literature survey and the identification of all available collection material, a checklist and distribution maps for the caddisflies occurring in Flanders were prepared. Of the 126 species that have been recorded, 16 are now extinct in Flanders, while the majority of the remaining species is rare and their populations are often vulnerable due to isolation. Caddisflies only occurred at high oxygen levels and relatively low conductivities and three species assemblages could be recognized. A first group of species lived in stagnant waters and those species tolerated slightly lower oxygen concentrations than species characteristic for running waters. In streams of the Campine region, which are characterized by a low pH and a low conductivity, a second group of species was found. The last group of species mainly occurred in the loamy region, where pH and conductivity are higher. Running waters in other ecoregions mainly contained ubiquist species and did not possess a characteristic species assemblage. Despite the fact that the ecological water quality in Flanders slightly increased during the last few decades, the ecological water quality of most waters is still too low for caddisflies. According to the European Union water framework directive, a good ecological water quality should be obtained in all surface waters. Additional measures to improve the water quality are necessary in order to obtain sustainable populations of the caddisfly species occurring in Flanders.

(Received March 26 2011)

(Accepted September 7 2011)

(Online publication March 14 2012)

Key Words:

  • Checklist;
  • distribution maps;
  • habitat suitability


c1 Corresponding author: