Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Burrowing mayfly ( Ephemeridae : Ichthybotus )

Diagnostic features

Ichthybotus mayfly nymphs have delicate slender bodies, feather-like gills, fringed caudal filaments (“tails”) and tusk-like mandibles extending in front of the head.

Typical habitats

Ichthybotus larvae burrow into the gravelly beds of streams with cool and well aerated water.


They are thought to be “collector-gatherers”, feeding on organic matter trapped in the streambed.

Indicator value

The presence of Ichthybotus suggests good habitat and water quality conditions, especially if other mayfly or stonefly groups are abundant. Ichthybotus has tolerance values of 8 (hard bottom sites) and 9.2 (soft bottom sites).