Antenna with 5 segments; segment 2 apically widened and segment 4 longer than third. Ring organ on basal 1/3 of segment 1. Blade subequal in length to flagellum. Lauterborn organs large, about as long as segment 3. Style reaching to apex of segment 3.
Labrum with all S setae simple. Pecten epipharyngis consisting of 3 scales. Chaetulae laterales simple; chaetulae basales present. Ungula squarish with a long, narrow basal sclerite. Premandible simple; brush absent.
with apical tooth shorter than combined width of 3 inner teeth. Seta subdentalis long, bluntly pointed. Seta interna absent.
Mentum subtriangular in shape with 3 equal sized teeth forming the apex and 4 pairs of teeth along sloping sides. Ventromental plate small; beard consisting of a tuft of long setae.
Maxilla with palpiger with triangular chaetulae. Galea without lamellae or pecten galearis. Setae maxillaris simple.
Body with anterior and posterior parapods separate, each bearing an apical crown of claws. Procercus about as long as wide with 6 anal setae; 2 setae shorter and thinner than the remaining 4 setae. Anal tubules about half as long as posterior parapods. Body with simple and bifid or plumose setae, if plumose setae present, then only 1 on each posteroventral corner of all but the last abdominal segment.
Larval Parorthocladius inhabit small bodies of flowing water including springs and shallow bodies of still water. The genus is Holarctic and Afrotropical.