Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Net-building caddis ( Hydropsychidae : Aoteapsyche )

Diagnostic features

Hydropsychid caddis larvae have hardened (sclerotised) plates on each of the 3 thoracic segments, and gill tufts under the abdomen. Aoteapsyche caddis larvae are distinguished by the presence of fine hairs covering the abdomen, and 7 sets of abdominal gills.

Typical habitats

Aoteapsyche larvae are abundant in many stony streams and rivers, and they reach greatest abundance downstream of lake outlets.


They construct filter-feeding nets attached to the streambed to trap drifting particulate food items, including algae and other invertebrates.

Indicator value

Aoteapsyche larvae are common in streams of moderate to good quality, so they are not particularly useful as water quality indicators. They have tolerance values of 4 (hard bottom sites) and 6 (soft bottom sites).