Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Free-living caddis ( Hydrobiosidae : Psilochorema )

Diagnostic features

The New Zealand hydrobiosid caddis larvae have pincers on their forelegs. Psilochorema larvae tend to have a long, slender body, prothorax (first segment behind the head) and head. The prosternal plate (shield-like plate between the forelegs) is much longer than wide. Typically the head and pronotum are red-brown in colour.

Typical habitats

Psilochorema larvae can be common in bush-covered and farmland stony streams.


They are predators, feeding on other stream invertebrates.

Indicator value

Psilochorema larvae can be an indication of good water quality, particularly if they are found along with a range of mayfly and stonefly taxa. They have tolerance values of 8 (hard bottom sites) and 7.8 (soft bottom sites).