Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Stonefly ( Austroperlidae : Austroperla )

Diagnostic features

Austroperla stonefly nymphs are easily recognised by the presence of three tubular gills between the cerci (“tails”).

Typical habitats

Austroperla nymphs are common in cold water streams with stony or gravelly beds, often in bush covered areas.


They feed on a range of organic matter including decomposing wood and leaves, algae and other microscopic organisms in streambed biofilms.

Indicator value

An abundance of Austroperla suggests good habitat and water quality conditions, especially if other mayfly or stonefly groups are abundant. They have tolerance values of 9 (hard bottom sites) and 8.4 (soft bottom sites).