Namanereis tiritiae is our only truly freshwater polychaete (paddleworm). The polychaetes are annelids (segmented worms) and they are characterised by their fleshy “paddles” (parapodia) on each body segment. Namanereis has a long white body, but they are fragile and can be difficult to collect intact. Antennae, palps, a proboscis and jaws may be visible when the head is magnified.
Namanereis are found only in specific parts of the North Island; our records are from unshaded sandy-gravelly streams in the Manawatu and Hawkes Bay regions.
They are primarily deposit feeders, collecting fine organic matter from bottom sediments.
Namanereis is too rarely recorded to be a useful water quality indicator. This genus has not been assigned tolerance values but the Class Polychaeta (paddleworms) has a soft bottom tolerance value of 6.7 (no hard bottom value has been assigned).