Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Stonefly ( Gripopterygidae : Zelandobius )

Diagnostic features

Zelandobius stonefly nymphs have a rosette of anal gills between the cerci (“tails”). There are several species but they tend to be a uniform brown colour. They lack the hairy legs of Zelandoperla, the pale markings of Acroperla or Nesoperla, the subanal lobe spines of Megaleptoperla, or the thoracic lobes of Taraperla.

Typical habitats

Zelandobius nymphs can be found in a wide range of stony streams and rivers all over the country.


They are thought to be “collector-gatherers”, feeding on a range of organic matter accumulating on stream beds.

Indicator value

Zelandobius species can be found in streams of moderate to good water quality. They have tolerance values of 5 (hard bottom sites) and 7.4 (soft bottom sites).