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Green stonefly (Stenoperla)

Taxonomic group

Eustheniidae: Stenoperla

Diagnostic features

Stenoperla stonefly nymphs are usually strongly green coloured, and they have pale tentacle-like gills along the sides of the abdomen unlike any other New Zealand stoneflies.

Typical habitats

Stenoperla nymphs are most common in unmodified, bush covered, cold water, stony bottom streams.


Large nymphs are known to be predators of other stream invertebrates, but small nymphs may feed on a range of streambed detritus.

Indicator value

  • Hard bottom: 10
  • Soft bottom: 9.1

The tolerance values (ranging from 0 to 10) give an indication of which are the sensitive taxa (values of 8 or more) and which are the tolerant taxa (values of 3 or less). For more information see: Indicator species

Stenoperla nymphs are an indication of good habitat and water quality conditions, especially if other mayfly or stonefly groups are abundant. They have tolerance values of 10 (hard bottom sites) and 9.1 (soft bottom sites).