Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Cranefly ( Tipulidae : Hexatomini )

Diagnostic features

The Hexatomini is a tribe of tipulid craneflies that includes some common species with freshwater larvae. Like other tipulids the general body form is worm-like, with the head usually retracted into the body. The spiracular disc (breathing apparatus at the tip of the tail) is surrounded by 4 hair-fringed lobes. The body of some species is covered in fine hairs. Hexatomini larvae lack prominent abdominal creeping welts.

Typical habitats

Hexatomini larvae are found in many hard bottom and soft bottom streams around the country, though not usually in high abundance.


They may have a range of feeding styles but their sharp sickle-like mandibles indicate they prey on other invertebrates.

Indicator value

Hexatomini larvae are found in a wide range of stream types. They have mid range tolerance values of 5 (hard bottom sites) and 6.7 (soft bottom sites).