Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Free-living caddis ( Hydrobiosidae : Hydrochorema )

Diagnostic features

The New Zealand hydrobiosid caddis larvae have pincers on their forelegs. Hydrochorema larvae have a long white body and smallish orange or red head. The prosternal plate (shield-like plate between the forelegs) is relatively square and appears to have broken edges along the sides.

Typical habitats

Hydrochorema larvae are common in stony streams and rivers, in bush covered and farmland areas.


They are predators, feeding on other stream invertebrates.

Indicator value

The presence of Hydrochorema larvae indicates good water quality, particularly where a range of mayfly and stonefly nymphs are also present. They have a tolerance value of 9 for hard bottom sites (there is no soft bottom tolerance value).