Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Stony cased caddis ( Oeconesidae : Oeconesus )

Diagnostic features

Oeconesus caddis larvae construct mobile cases with coarse sand grains. They have a circular head with a relatively flat top circled by a carina (sharp edge). The mesonotum (second segment behind the head) has 6 coloured (sclerotised) plates, some of which have a black front edge.

Typical habitats

Oeconesus larvae are most common in bush covered streams.


They are collector-gatherers (feeding on fine particulate organic matter) and shredders (feeding on leaf litter).

Indicator value

An abundance of Oeconesus larvae indicates good habitat and water quality, particularly if mayfly and stonefly nymphs are also abundant. They have tolerance values of 9 (hard bottom sites) and 6.4 (soft bottom sites).