Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Orange mayfly ( Leptophlebiidae : Acanthophlebia )

Diagnostic features

Acanthophlebia mayfly nymphs have a flattened body form, large double leaf-like gills, large abdominal spines and a general orange-brown colour.

Typical habitats

Acanthophlebia larvae are most abundant in bush-covered, stony-bottom streams with cool and well aerated water.


Leptophlebiid mayflies feed by scraping diatom algae and other organic matter from stone surfaces.

Indicator value

High abundances of Acanthophlebia suggest good habitat and water quality conditions, especially if other mayfly or stonefly groups are abundant. Acanthophlebia has tolerance values of 7 (hard bottom sites) and 9.6 (soft bottom sites).