Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Rove beetles ( Staphylinidae : Staphylinidae )

Diagnostic features

New Zealand staphylinids are largely terrestrial, but the adults often live along stream margins and can be collected in stream samples. They have somewhat slender, non-streamlined bodies, with elytra (wing covers) that only cover a small part (if any) of the abdomen. They have relatively long, multi-segmented antennae with no club of enlarged segments.

Typical habitats

Staphylinids can be common along the margins of a wide range of stream types.


Different species may be scavengers (feeding on organic detritus), algae feeders or predators.

Indicator value

Being primarily terrestrial, staphylinids probably have little value as water quality indicators. They have mid-range tolerance values of 5 (hard bottom sites) and 6.2 (soft bottom sites).