Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Stonefly ( Gripopterygidae : Zelandoperla )

Diagnostic features

Zelandoperla stonefly nymphs have a rosette of anal gills between the cerci (“tails”). The antennae and cerci are long in relation to the body, and the legs have a fringe of long hairs along the hind margin.

Typical habitats

Zelandoperla nymphs are most commonly found in cold water, stony mountain streams or bush covered streams.


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

Indicator value

Zelandoperla nymphs are an indication of good habitat and water quality conditions, especially if other mayfly or stonefly groups are abundant. They have tolerance values of 10 (hard bottom sites) and 8.8 (soft bottom sites).