Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Free-living caddis ( Hydrobiosidae : Tiphobiosis )

Diagnostic features

The New Zealand hydrobiosid caddis larvae have chelae (‘pincers”) on their forelegs. Tiphobiosis larvae have unusually short legs, small chelae and a small head. The prosternal plate (shield-like plate between the forelegs) is much wider than long and bean-shaped (if visible).

Typical habitats

Tiphobiosis larvae are among the least common hydrobiosids in streams. They are more suited to shallow seepage habitats.


They are predators, feeding on other freshwater invertebrates.

Indicator value

Tiphobiosis larvae are most common in seepage habitats and may therefore not be useful indicators of stream water quality. However, they have been assigned tolerance values of 6 (hard bottom sites) and 9.3 (soft bottom sites).