Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Cranefly ( Tipulidae : Limonia )

Diagnostic features

Limonia is one of our less common tipulid craneflies 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 5 short, hair-fringed lobes (one smaller than the other 4). Limonia has creeping welts and scars along the abdomen, but these tend to be less conspicuous than those of Aphrophila.

Typical habitats

Limonia tend to be found amongst vegetation, sometimes in rotting wood in soft-bottom streams. At least one species occurs in estuarine sites.


At least some species are shredders, feeding on plant detritus.

Indicator value

Limonia can be found in streams with moderate to good water quality. They have mid-range tolerance values of 6 (hard bottom sites) and 6.3 (soft bottom sites).