Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Net wing midge ( Blephariceridae : Blephariceridae )

Diagnostic features

The Blephariceridae (or “net wing midges”) have larvae that are unlikely to be confused with any other aquatic insects. They have an almost chiton-like body form, and they are the only stream invertebrates with 6 suction discs underneath the body.

Typical habitats

Blepharicerid larvae are usually found in fast-flowing, stony bottom mountain streams.


They are grazers, feeding on the thin films of algae growing on stony streambeds.

Indicator value

Blepharicerid larvae are only expected to occur in mountain or hill country streams, where water quality is usually good. The common genus Neocurupira has a hard bottom tolerance value of 7 (blepharicerid larvae are not expected at soft bottom sites).