Larvae and pupae of the chironomid Xenochironomus canterburyensis (Freeman) are recorded for the first time. They are inquiline commensals of the fresh water mussel Hyridella menziesi (Gray) in Lake Taupo, New Zealand. The chironomid is univoltine and closely dependent on the seasonal growth of the mussel shell for its pupation and adult emergence. The first instar larva is probably a free-swimming, dispersal stage. Second instar larvae appeared in mussels between the outer surface of the mantle and the inner surface of the valve in later summer. They overwintered there as third and fourth instars until spring when they were found at the margin of the valve opposite the inhalent siphon from where they pupated and left the host to emerge at the lake surface. Some mortality of first and second instar larvae occurred as there was an average of 25–5 whole larvae buried in the nacre of each valve of the mussels.