Larva to 2 mm long, with head pale creamy yellow, c. 10% body length. Body darkened (may be reddish brown).
Very short, apparently 3-segmented (perhaps 2 and 3 fused ?), basal segment squat; segments 2-3 longer, more or less subequal in length. Blade slightly shorter than flagellum. Lauterborn organs absent. Style on apex of 2nd segment, well-developed, longer than segment 2.
SI seta adjacent basally, comprising long, slender setae each arising from slender pedestal; SII large and broader, arising from low pedestal, SIII anteriorly placed near midline of head, one anterior to the other (ie not bilaterally symmetrical); SIVA and B thin setae. Labral rod close to SIVB, strongly developed on pedestal. Chaetae, chaetulae, spinulae and premandibles absent.
Large, study and multi-toothed (7-8), outside of dominant apical tooth are 1-3 teeth, middle one being longest; inner teeth 3-4, short. Pecten mandibularis absent. Seta subdentalis clearly dorsal, simple/lanceolate, extending to near apical tooth. Seta interna may be represented on dorsolateral mandible by 2-4 long well sclerotised, sickle-shaped lamellae.
Well sclerotised, smoothly concave anterior margin; ventromentum with scale-like incisions; dorsomental wall comprising 2 medially-separated bands of sclerotised teeth.
Palp nearly as long as antenna, 3 segmented, with short and broad basal segment, slender 2-segmented flagellum, and 2 large club-shaped sensory rods; without Ring Organ.
Anterior parapods fused basally, crowned with simple claws. Body surface uniquely modified with papillae, plates and plumose (maybe strongly feathered) scales. Posterior parapods well developed. Procercus spinose, elongate, subapically with 2 strong setae, apically with brush of 4 setae of heterogeneous lengths.
Distinguished from other Aphroteniinae by the plumose extensions to the body cuticle, and the body setae being feathered. The very short and indistinctly 3-segmented antenna is in contrast to the evident 4 segments of Aphroteniella and and Paraphrotenia.
Larvae are generally found in cool and shaded (forested) streams of south-eastern Australia and the western Cape of South Africa. Within streams the larvae are most commonly encountered in depositional areas downstream of large boulders. Two species are described from South Africa (A. barnardi Brundin and A. tsitsikamae Brundin) and one from Australia (A. australiensis Hergstrom). The unreared larvae of possibly A. australiensis is known from cool streams from South Australia to northern New South Wales.