Ptilodactylids are beetles with long, mealworm-like larvae that live in streams, but the adults are terrestrial. The larvae have a similar body form to the elmids, but ptilodactylids are usually larger and more orange-brown than elmids. The last (9th) abdominal segment has a flat upper surface, which is not the case in the elmids.
Ptilodactylids can be common in some slow flowing bush covered streams.
Ptilodactylid larvae are likely to be “collector-gatherers” feeding on a range of fine organic matter trapped amongst, or growing on the streambed.
Ptilodactylids are usually found in streams with moderate to good water quality. They have tolerance values of 8 (hard bottom sites) and 7.1 (soft bottom sites).