Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Chironomid midge ( Chironomidae : Paucispinigera )

Diagnostic features

Paucispinigera is one of our lesser known members of the Chironomini subfamily of 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. Paucispinigera has a slender body that may be red when live (pale when preserved). The head is small and the eyes are split into two barely-separated parts, one above the other.

Typical habitats

Paucispinigera larvae are mainly known from South Island bush-covered streams, and lakes, but there are occasional North Island records.


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

Indicator value

Paucispinigera are mostly known from beech forest South Island streams (presumably with good water quality). They have tolerance values of 6 (hard bottom sites) and 7.7 (soft bottom sites).