Cristaperla stonefly nymphs have no gills between the cerci (“tails”), and they have a fringe of hairs right around the pronotum (first segment behind the head). These hairs are much longer than those of Spaniocerca.
Cristaperla nymphs live in the hyporheic zone (under the streambed) of forested streams, mostly in the South Island.
We can only guess that like most other stoneflies they may feed on a range of organic matter accumulating in or on the streambed.
Cristaperla, like other stoneflies are found most commonly in good quality, cold water streams . They have been assigned a hard bottom tolerance value of 8 (no value has been assigned for soft bottom streams).