Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Cased caddisfly ( Leptoceridae : Hudsonema )

Diagnostic features

Hudsonema caddis larvae construct long, slender mobile cases made of plant fragments or sand grains. Hudsonema alienum arranges rectangular plant fragments in neat spirals along the case, and the stripy-legged Hudsonema amabile cover their case mainly in sand grains.

Typical habitats

Hudsonema larvae are common in many stony, gravelly or weedy, bush-covered or farmland streams.


Leptoceridae include species that are shredders (eating plant matter) and predators (eating other invertebrates). The Hudsonema species may be both shredders and predators.

Indicator value

An abundance of Hudsonema larvae indicates good habitat and water quality conditions, especially if mayfly or stonefly groups are also abundant. They have tolerance values of 6 (hard bottom sites) and 6.5 (soft bottom sites).