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Taxonomic group

Notonemouridae: Cristaperla

Diagnostic features

Cristaperla stonefly nymphs have no gills between the cerci (“tails”), and they have a fringe of hairs right around the pronotum (first segment behind the head). These hairs are much longer than those of Spaniocerca.

Typical habitats

Cristaperla nymphs live in the hyporheic zone (under the streambed) of forested streams, mostly in the South Island.


We can only guess that like most other stoneflies they may feed on a range of organic matter accumulating in or on the streambed.

Indicator value

  • Hard bottom: 85
  • Soft bottom: unassigned

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

Cristaperla, like other stoneflies are found most commonly in good quality, cold water streams . They have been assigned a hard bottom tolerance value of 8 (no value has been assigned for soft bottom streams).