Freshwater Animal Categories

Listed below are animals that might be expected to be common in some but not all New Zealand rivers. Some animals, like blue duck, are quite rare or confined to very restricted areas. Locally, some of these rare species may be quite common.

There are many other freshwater animals but this list represents the ones most important and most easily monitored at the various school and community levels.


Pukeko, Australian coot, Banded rail, Spotless crake, Marsh crake, (all rails)

Little black shag, Pied shag, Little shag, (all cormorants)

White faced heron, White heron, Australasian bittern (large waders)

Paradise shelduck, Blue duck, Mallard, Grey duck, Grey teal, Brown teal (ducklike birds)

Kingfisher, Swallow.


Long finned eel, Short finned eel, (Native species).

Inanga, Kokopu, Koaro, Bullies, Grayling (Native species).

Rainbow trout, Brown trout, Salmon, (Introduced game fish).

Carp, Perch, Mosquito fish / Guppy (Introduced fish).


Green frog, Golden bell Frog, Tadpoles. (Introduced)


Dragon flies, Damsel flies, May flies, (describe body colours and size)

Caddis flies (describe : horny, sandy, spiral, stick, leaf, or stone)

Stone fly, Dobson fly,

Mosquito, Midge, Sandfly, Crane fly, Drone fly,

Water boatman, Backswimmer, Water measurer, Pond skater

Water beetle


Koura (FW crayfish), freshwater shrimp,

Shield shrimp, Water flea, Hopper, Seed shrimps


Freshwater mussel,

Dark water snail, Spiny water snail, Decapitated water snail

Freshwater limpet.



Tubifex (blood / bristle worm)

Flatworms, Round worms

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