Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Scorpionfly ( Nannochoristidae : Nannochorista )

Diagnostic features

Nannochorista is the only scorpionfly with aquatic larvae in New Zealand. The larvae are characterised by a very long shiny body, 6 short jointed legs, and a darkened rectangular plate (“sclerite”) on the first thoracic segment (just behind the head). There is a pair of hooks at the end of the abdomen.

Typical habitats

Nannochorista is only known from the South Island. The larvae live along the slow-flowing margins of streams, particularly in bush covered areas.


It is assumed that like overseas, Nannochorista larvae are predators, preying on other stream invertebrates.

Indicator value

Nannochorista larvae are known primarily from streams with good water quality. They have a tolerance value of 7 for hard bottom sites (no value for soft bottom sites has been assigned).