Puketi Forest Trust, restoring and protecting the native wildlife, trees and plants of Puketi Forest in Northland, New Zealand.

Free-living Caddis Larvae

A caddisfly is an invertebrate. Invertebrates are animals without backbones, such as mayflies, caddisflies, worms and snails, that live for all or a portion of their lives in freshwater. Some have adult flying stages that live on vegetation near the stream. Caddisfly larvae living in the Waipapa River, for example, pupate over summer and turn into flying adults that live on the land.

Puketi Forest Trust, restoring and protecting the native wildlife, trees and plants of Puketi Forest in Northland, New Zealand.

The free-living caddisfly larvae is called Aoteapsyche and it grows up to 2 cm long. The caddisfly larvae typically hides in a home it builds made of tiny stones, which are attached to the bottom of the stream.

The larva itself has a brown head, brown plates on the upper side behind the head and short legs. The rest of the body is fat, light brown and grub-like, with gill-tufts on its underside.

Did you know? Net-spinning caddis make small nets that attach to the bottom of the stream so they can catch small animals and plants drifting in the water.