Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Chironomid midge ( Chironomidae : Stictocladius )

Diagnostic features

Stictocladius is one of the Orthocladiinae subfamily of the Chironomid midges. Like other chironomids the general body form is worm-like, but with a distinct head, and with paired prolegs under the head and at the end of the abdomen. Stictocladius has a distinctive long, skinny body, with a small, rectangular head. The antennae are longer in proportion to the length of the head than in most midges.

Typical habitats

Stictocladius larvae can be common in stony or gravelly, cold water streams, often in mountain or hill country areas.


They are collector-gatherers feeding on streambed algae and other fine organic matter.

Indicator value

Stictocladius larvae tend to occur in streams with good quality. They have not yet been assigned tolerance values, but these should be much higher than the orthoclad subfamily values of 2 (hard bottom sites) and 3.2 (soft bottom sites).