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Benthic Macro-invertebrates The Canary in the Coal Mine!

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Presentation on theme: "Benthic Macro-invertebrates The Canary in the Coal Mine!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Benthic Macro-invertebrates The Canary in the Coal Mine!

2 What are they? Benthic= Bottom Dwelling Macro= seen with naked eye Invertebrates= no back bone

3 Why monitor them? Macroinvertebrate Biodiversity Index or MBI Relative tolerance to pollutants called a Tolerance Value (Tv) A number line of 1 to 11 The lower the number the less tolerant the species is to pollution Stone Fly = 1.5 Tv

4 Adaptations Based on their primary habitat – Riffle – Run – Pool

5 Flat Worm / Planaria Less than 2cm in length Pointed head with two “eye spots” Glide along bottom of the pan No segments

6 Leeches 2 cm to 5cm long Segmented Thin head and fat tail regions Two movements in the pan – Undulated swimming – Inch worm along bottom of pan

7 Side by Side Comparison

8 Aquatic Worm Looks like a terrestrial worm Light brown in color Segmented Up to 10 cm long Will crawl along bottom of the pan

9 Blood Worms Very small and thin Up to 2cm long Looks like a tiny red hair in the pan They can be found floating and sometimes wiggling on bottom of the pan Get their name from color, they have nothing to do with blood

10 Side by Side Comparison

11 Caddis Flies Hydropshychiadae Light colored, form a “C” shape Dark colored Armored back

12 Caddis Fly Non-Hydropshychidae GREEN with dark colored armor plates

13 Get there name from”

14 Side by Side Comparison

15 Amphipoda or Scud AKA Freshwater shrimp Light colored Swim on their sides C -Shaped

16 Aquatic Sow Bug/ Isopoda Similar to a terrestrial rolly-polly Light brown to grey in color Up to 1.5 cm long Crawls along bottom of pan Does not swim

17 Side by Side Comaprison

18 Crawling Mayfly Three tails Gills along abdomen Long thin bodies Up to 2 cm long, but usually smaller in our creek 1cm Wing pads on abdomen

19 Clinging Mayfly Up to 2cm long Colors vary Look like they “work out” incredible legs for clinging to rocks in fast currents Large eyes 3 tails

20 Swimming Mayfly Three or two tailed. In our creek mainly 3 tailed. The two outer tails curve away and the gills are much longer and have a furry appearance

21 Torpedo Mayfly Look a little like the swimming mayfly but torpedo’s have a humped back

22 Burrowing Mayfly These mayflies have a very Furry appearance. There gills Are all over their bodies making them Look hairy. We have found these in our creek, but Have not found them in the past several Years.

23 Side by Side Comparison

24 Meet the Mayfly!

25 Stone Fly TWO TAILS ONLY Distinctive coloration- turtle shell markings Very strong and hardy looking We do find these in our creek but have not for two years Is it a mayfly or a stone fly? ASK YOUR TEACHER TO MAKE SURE! WE NEED TO DOCUMENT THIS SPECIES!

26 Alderfly Reddish brown head Lighter colored abdomen Long gill filaments off the side and a long single filament off rear end Large mandibles Can be 1 cm to 4 cm long LION of the creek so get it out of your pan quick- it will eat everything else in a short amount of time!

27 Dobson Fly Large mandibles Dark Color Short dark gill spikes off abdomen OTHER LION of the creek. Remove immediately after documenting or you will have nothing else to count! : )

28 Side by Side Comparison

29 Water Penny Not to be confused with an Aquatic Sow bug! Reminds me of a scab from the top and looks like an alien from the underside! Oval shaped, brown and up to 1cm long in our creek This photo enhanced with color, naturally White in color

30 Side by Side

31 Riffle Beetle In these case we count both the adults and larva. Adults will be up to 3cm in size, black and their legs look like ribbons The larva are light brown and with dark heads but only one armoring

32 Side by Side Comparison Caddis- Hydropsychidae Riffle Beetle Larva- they sometimes Curl into a C-shape so not the armoring

33 Predacious Diving Beetle We typically only find the adult. We count the adult and the larva. Larva has a distinctive rounded head and these larva are big.

34 Broad Winged Damsel Fly Gills located at the tail, three large feathering looking appendages Can be 3 cm long

35 Narrow Winged Damsel Fly These guys typically look scary to students Longer pointed antennae, very long legs Long feathery gills on tail as well

36 Side by Side Comparison

37 Damsel Flys Damsel Fly vs Fish

38 Black Fly Black in color with grey shading Rounded shape at both ends with a thin “waist” Typically very numerous They are small, about 1 cm at most

39 Midge Fly Midge larva are going to be very small less them 1 cm in lenth. They come in a variety of colors and shapes They are feathery looking butts. These are their gills

40 Mosquito Very small larva that have a distinctive wiggle movement We do not count these in our data but they are common and can be confused for midges

41 Side by Side

42 Crane Fly Not a worm, but does look A little like a fat caterpillar Greenish in color Varies from 2cm to 6cm long Typically very big this time of year, They are responsible for shredding All of the leaves that fall in the creek Search leaf packs for them

43 Snipe Fly Also look like a caterpillar BUT they have suction cup feet Usually a reddish brown color Also can have feathery antennae

44 Side by Side

45 Dragon Fly Dragon Flies come in all different shapes, sizes and colors We have pulled dragon fly larva out of the creek so be one the look out, but not that man over the past decade

46 AWESOME Drgaonflies

47 Left Handed Snail These are Lung Breathers and are more tolerant to pollution

48 Right Handed Snail These are gill breathers and are not as tolerant to pollution

49 Side by Side

50 Crayfish Yes, they are fun, but they do not determine water quality and we do not count them So, let them go please! IF YOU FIND ONE THAT HAS RED PATCHES ON THE BODY, please show it your teacher. It may be invasive

51 Fish We do not count fish and for their safety do not want you to keep them in your pan. If you do find a fish do show it to your teacher so that we can determine if it is one of the following fish Johnny Darter- common Sculpin- some species are Endangered Rainbow Darter- Endangered Round Goby- Invasive

52 The wonderful World of Macros! A closer look!


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