Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Stonefly ( Notonemouridae : Spaniocerca )

Diagnostic features

Spaniocerca stonefly nymphs have no gills between the cerci (“tails”), they have a hair fringe around the pronotum (first segment behind the head) and unlike Halticoperla the hind legs are not much broader than the fore legs.

Typical habitats

Spaniocerca nymphs are rarely found in abundance, but they tend to occur in gravelly or stony, fast flowing, cold water streams.


Like most other stoneflies they may feed on a range of organic matter including decomposing vegetation, algae and other microscopic organisms in streambed biofilms.

Indicator value

Spaniocerca 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 8 (hard bottom sites) and 8.8 (soft bottom sites).