Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Stonefly ( Gripopterygidae : Megaleptoperla )

Diagnostic features

Megaleptoperla stonefly nymphs are larger than most aquatic insects. They have a rosette of anal gills between the cerci (“tails”). Underneath the anal gills are “subanal lobes” that have distinct spines pointing posteriorly.

Typical habitats

Megaleptoperla nymphs are common in many bush covered, cold water, stony streams, and sometimes weedy streams.


They may feed on a range of organic matter accumulating on stream beds. We have observed one feeding on a midge larva.

Indicator value

Megaleptoperla nymphs are only likely to be common or abundant in streams with good habitat and water quality. They have tolerance values of 9 (hard bottom sites) and 7.3 (soft bottom sites).