Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Stick caddis ( Leptoceridae : Triplectides )

Diagnostic features

Triplectides caddis larvae construct mobile cases primarily out of plant matter, but they also occasionally use stones or the cases of other caddisflies. The plant cases can be a hollowed piece of stick, or a tubular collection of many plant fragments. Their hind legs have distinct dark bands between the leg joints.

Typical habitats

Triplectides larvae are common in hard bottom and soft bottom streams, in areas of bush cover, farmland and sometimes urban landuse.


They are shredders, feeding on leaf litter (and the microbes decomposing the litter).

Indicator value

Triplectides can occur in streams with moderate pollution, so they are not necessarily an indication of good water quality. They have tolerance values of 5 (hard bottom sites) and 5.7 (soft bottom sites).