Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Free-living caddis ( Philopotamidae : Hydrobiosella )

Diagnostic features

Hydrobiosella caddisfly larvae have a pale body with orange head and prothorax (first segment behind the head). The hind edge of the pronotum (which covers the prothorax) is marked by a thick black band.

Typical habitats

Hydrobiosella larvae are common in many stony bush-covered streams.


They are known to be both collector-gatherers (feeing on organic detritus and algae) and predators (feeding on other stream invertebrates).

Indicator value

An abundance of Hydrobiosella larvae indicates good water quality, particularly where mayfly and stonefly nymphs are also abundant. They have high tolerance values of 9 (hard bottom sites) and 7.6 (soft bottom sites).