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Cranefly (Paralimnophila)

Taxonomic group

Tipulidae: Paralimnophila

Diagnostic features

Paralimnophila is one of the Hexatomini tribe of tipulid craneflies with freshwater larvae. Like other tipulids the general body form is worm-like, with the head usually retracted into the body. The spiracular disc (breathing apparatus at the tip of the tail) is surrounded by 4 lobes with conspicuous fringes of hairs, some of which are particularly long.

Typical habitats

Paralimnophila larvae are found in a relatively small proportion of stream samples, and it is possible they are more frequent in soft bottom than hard bottom sites.


New Zealand studies have shown they feed on plant detritus and a range of streambed algae.

Indicator value

  • Hard bottom: 6
  • Soft bottom: 7.4

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

Paralimnophila larvae are usually found in streams with moderate to good water quality. They have tolerance values of 6 (hard bottom sites) and 7.4 (soft bottom sites).