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VIDEO: Watch this clean-water-loving bug build its own awesome rock armor for protection

Life as a caddisfly larva can’t be easy.

Often found in fast-moving shallow streams with clean water and high levels of oxygen, much of their bodies as larvae are soft and unprotected,
leaving them vulnerable to predators. To survive, they’ve evolved to secrete a waterproof glue that binds small rocks to their bodies to serve as camouflage and armor.

PBS Digital Studios gives us an up-close look at the amazing process.

What’s it matter to us? Well, finding caddisfly larvae in streams is an indicator of good water quality. We conduct surveys in streams like the Cuyahoga River in the spring and summer to collect, count, and analyze them to make sure we are maintaining the best water quality possible.

Rock on, little caddisfly larva.