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Taxonomic group

Austroperlidae: Austroperla

Diagnostic features

Austroperla stonefly nymphs are easily recognised by the presence of three tubular gills between the cerci (“tails”).

Typical habitats

Austroperla nymphs are common in cold water streams with stony or gravelly beds, often in bush covered areas.


They feed on a range of organic matter including decomposing wood and leaves, algae and other microscopic organisms in streambed biofilms.

Indicator value

  • Hard bottom: 9
  • Soft bottom: 8.4

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

An abundance of Austroperla suggests good habitat and water quality conditions, especially if other mayfly or stonefly groups are abundant. They have tolerance values of 9 (hard bottom sites) and 8.4 (soft bottom sites).