Small larvae, up to 4.5 mm long.
Antenna 2/3 length of mandible; 5 segmented with segment 4 longer than third. Blade extending beyond apical segment, apparently always recurved in a West Australian species. Lauterborn organs distinct.
Labrum with either with all S setae simple or SI with few weak apical branches; SII blade-like, strong. Some chaetae pectinate, others simple. Pecten epipharyngis consisting of 3 subequal scales with 2 or 3 chaetulae laterales on each side, 1 pair broad, others narrower. Premandible with 2 apical teeth and 2 inner teeth; brush present.
Apical tooth shorter than combined width of 4 inner teeth. Seta subdentalis short and pointed. Seta interna with 6-7 fine branches.
Mentum with paired median teeth taller than first of 5 pairs of lateral teeth. Ventromental plate present as a tooth-like bulge, baso-lateral to mentum. Little or no more anterior expression of ventromental plate; beard absent. Setae submenti retracted further posterior than usual.
Maxilla with distinct sensillae present on palp and galea. Simple lamellae present at base of palpiger and galea. Both long and short setae maxillaris present.
Body with anterior and posterior parapods divided, bearing claws. Procercus bearing 6 anal setae. Anal tubules present, shorter than posterior parapods, apically pointed. All body segments except segment 11 and 12 have long setae, from half to full segment length.
Larval Paralimnophyes are found in eutrophic standing and slow flowing waters in the Palaearctic and Australian regions. Unreared adults confirm the presence in the Oriental region (Wang and Sæther, 2002). In Europe, P. hydrophilus have a dry resistance developmental stage (Dettinger-Klemm and Boehle, 1996).