Abstract P. guttifer is typically found associated with allochthonous debris in slow‐water areas of streams where it is said to function as a classical shredder. A population of 5th instar larvae from a large Quebec river appears to depart from this ideal in that many were found in areas of the river where current speeds exceed 30 cm/ s, and many were eating predominantly algae thus exhibiting features of the scraper trophic category. Considerable variations in larval and case dimensions were noted, some of which are related to features of the microhabitat. The need for more data, from a variety of field conditions and localities, on so‐called well‐known species is discussed.
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