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Michael Clapp CAM Jr/Sr High ~ Battle Ground, WA revised: September 2006 Know Your Macros!

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Presentation on theme: "Michael Clapp CAM Jr/Sr High ~ Battle Ground, WA revised: September 2006 Know Your Macros!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Michael Clapp CAM Jr/Sr High ~ Battle Ground, WA revised: September 2006 Know Your Macros!

2 What are Benthic Macroinvertebrates? Commonly referred to as: “macros” Commonly referred to as: “macros” Benthic = bottom dwelling Benthic = bottom dwelling Macro = large enough to be seen without aid of a microscope Macro = large enough to be seen without aid of a microscope Invertebrate = without a backbone Invertebrate = without a backbone

3 Why Study Macros? Macros have different tolerances to pollution Macros have different tolerances to pollution Some are sensitive, others are tolerant Some are sensitive, others are tolerant They’re used as bio-indicators of water quality They’re used as bio-indicators of water quality They live in habitat continuously over an extended period of time They live in habitat continuously over an extended period of time affected by sporadic changes (chemical leaks, …) affected by sporadic changes (chemical leaks, …) affected by seasonal variations of stream affected by seasonal variations of stream Macros are COOL! Macros are COOL!

4 Identifying Macros Based on observable physical characteristics Based on observable physical characteristics Organisms are identified using keys, requires … Organisms are identified using keys, requires … awareness of distinguishing features awareness of distinguishing features knowledge of life cycle (larva, pupa, adult) knowledge of life cycle (larva, pupa, adult) Classification of organisms Classification of organisms Different levels of classification (taxa) Different levels of classification (taxa) Levels progress from general groupings to more specific Levels progress from general groupings to more specific ID to Class & Order level (possibly Family) ID to Class & Order level (possibly Family) Professional Scientists use scientific names Professional Scientists use scientific names Binomial (two names) Binomial (two names) Based on Latin/Greek language Based on Latin/Greek language Scientific Name = Genus species Scientific Name = Genus species

5 E-P-T: Important Indicators Species Ephemeroptera - mayflies Ephemeroptera - mayflies Plecoptera - stoneflies Plecoptera - stoneflies Tricoptera - caddisflies Tricoptera - caddisflies

6 Mayflies (Order Ephemeroptera) Six legs attached to thorax Six legs attached to thorax Thorax does not appear divided Thorax does not appear divided Gills along the abdomen Gills along the abdomen 2 or 3 tails 2 or 3 tails 1 pair wing pads, if present 1 pair wing pads, if present Generally collector gatherers and shredders Generally collector gatherers and shredders Sensitive or moderately tolerant of pollution Sensitive or moderately tolerant of pollution head thorax abdomen 2 plates gills tails or cerci

7 Mayflies (Order Ephemeroptera) Common Families: Common Families: Ameletid Ameletid Small Minnow Small Minnow Flat-headed Flat-headed Spiny Crawler Spiny Crawler Prong-gilled Prong-gilled

8 Stoneflies (Order Plecoptera) Thorax divided into 3 parts Thorax divided into 3 parts Pair of legs for each part Pair of legs for each part 2 claws at end of each leg 2 claws at end of each leg 2 pair wing pads, if present 2 pair wing pads, if present Only 2 tails Only 2 tails Gills may be visible on thorax (“hairy armpits”) or under neck Gills may be visible on thorax (“hairy armpits”) or under neck Shredders and predators Shredders and predators Mostly sensitive to pollution Mostly sensitive to pollution 2 tails abdomen thorax head 3 plates sometimes gills visible on thorax 2 claws

9 Stoneflies (Order Plecoptera) Common Families: Common Families: Golden Golden Little Yellow Little Yellow Little Green Little Green Little Brown Little Brown Slender Winter Slender Winter Giant Giant Wing pads

10 Caddisflies (Order Trichoptera) 6 legs attached to thorax 6 legs attached to thorax Fleshy abdomen; some with hair- like gills Fleshy abdomen; some with hair- like gills Prolegs with hooks at end of abdomen; some have tufts of hair Prolegs with hooks at end of abdomen; some have tufts of hair Some build cases from rocks and/or plant material Some build cases from rocks and/or plant material Some spin nets as a retreat and to collect detritus Some spin nets as a retreat and to collect detritus Some crawl around in search of prey Some crawl around in search of prey Sensitive or moderately sensitive to pollution Sensitive or moderately sensitive to pollution head thorax abdomen abdominal gills ( Netspinner ) prolegs with hooks

11 Caddisflies (Order Trichoptera) Common Families: Common Families: Northern casemaker Northern casemaker Saddle casemakers Saddle casemakers Humpless case-maker Humpless case-maker Netspinner (Hydropsychidae) Netspinner (Hydropsychidae) Freeliving (green rock worm) Freeliving (green rock worm) Fingernet Fingernet Freeliving (predators)

12 Other Common Taxa of Aquatic Macros Worms: flatworms, earthworms, & leeches Worms: flatworms, earthworms, & leeches Mollusks: snails, mussels, & clams Mollusks: snails, mussels, & clams Arachnids: water mites Arachnids: water mites Crustaceans: aquatic sowbugs, scuds, & crayfish Crustaceans: aquatic sowbugs, scuds, & crayfish Insects: true bugs, beetles, dragonflies & damselflies, dobsonflies & alderflies, midges, black flies, & crane flies Insects: true bugs, beetles, dragonflies & damselflies, dobsonflies & alderflies, midges, black flies, & crane flies

13 Flatworms Flattened body; not segmented Flattened body; not segmented Eyespots (usually visible) Eyespots (usually visible) “Glides” over surfaces “Glides” over surfaces Somewhat tolerant Somewhat tolerant

14 Aquatic Earthworm (Class Oligochaeta) Round, segmented body Round, segmented body Small hair-like bristles along body Small hair-like bristles along body Tolerant of pollution Tolerant of pollution

15 Snails (Class Gastropoda) Hard spiral shell Hard spiral shell Gilled snails (right-side opening with narrow end up) are somewhat sensitive Gilled snails (right-side opening with narrow end up) are somewhat sensitive Pouch snails (left-side) are tolerant Pouch snails (left-side) are tolerant limpet

16 Clams & Mussels (Class Bivalvia) 2 shells hinged together 2 shells hinged together Clams are smaller and rounder than mussels Clams are smaller and rounder than mussels Somewhat tolerant of pollution Somewhat tolerant of pollution Important for stream health because they filter feed and clean the water Important for stream health because they filter feed and clean the water clam mussel

17 Water Mites (Arachnids) Round body with no visible segments Round body with no visible segments 8 legs 8 legs 2 finger-like pedipalps project forward 2 finger-like pedipalps project forward Small (usually 1-3 mm); look like moving dots Small (usually 1-3 mm); look like moving dots Most are predators, piercing their prey with fang-like mouth parts; others consume plants or carrion or feed as external parasites Most are predators, piercing their prey with fang-like mouth parts; others consume plants or carrion or feed as external parasites Generally tolerant to somewhat tolerant Generally tolerant to somewhat tolerant pedipalps

18 Sowbugs & Scuds (Crustacea) Aquatic Sow bug (Order Isopoda) Aquatic Sow bug (Order Isopoda) Tan, brown, or greyish in color Tan, brown, or greyish in color 7 pair of segmented legs 7 pair of segmented legs Body flattened top-to-bottom Body flattened top-to-bottom Crawls flat on bottom of tray Crawls flat on bottom of tray Scud (Order Amphipoda) Scud (Order Amphipoda) Curved, shrimp-like body Curved, shrimp-like body 7 pair of segmented legs 7 pair of segmented legs Flattened from side-to-side Flattened from side-to-side Swims on its side Swims on its side

19 Crayfish (Order Decapoda) Crustaceans Crustaceans 5 pairs of walking legs 5 pairs of walking legs Enlarged claw at end of first pair of legs Enlarged claw at end of first pair of legs Wide flipper at end of abdomen Wide flipper at end of abdomen Somewhat tolerant of pollution Somewhat tolerant of pollution Omnivore - mostly eats plant material, but also consumes carrion, scrapes algae, and preys on live macros Omnivore - mostly eats plant material, but also consumes carrion, scrapes algae, and preys on live macros

20 Water Beetles (Order Coleoptera) Diverse Order of insects Diverse Order of insects Includes Riffle beetles, Predaceous beetles, Water Penny, & Whirligigs Includes Riffle beetles, Predaceous beetles, Water Penny, & Whirligigs Sensitive to Pollution Sensitive to Pollution Predaceous beetle Riffle beetle Whirligig beetle larva adult

21 Dragonflies & Damselflies (Order Odonata) Dragonflies Dragonflies Large abdomen tapers to point(s), but no tail Large abdomen tapers to point(s), but no tail Internal gills are not visible Internal gills are not visible Damselflies Damselflies Narrow abdomen ends with 3 paddle-like gills Narrow abdomen ends with 3 paddle-like gills Dragonflies & Damselflies Dragonflies & Damselflies Predators Predators Extendable, hinged jaw captures prey Extendable, hinged jaw captures prey Somewhat tolerant Somewhat tolerant gills

22 Dobsonflies & Alderflies (Order Megaloptera) Alderflies Alderflies Large gill filaments along abdomen Large gill filaments along abdomen Abdomen ends with single, long, pointed tail filament Abdomen ends with single, long, pointed tail filament More tolerant of pollution than dobsonflies More tolerant of pollution than dobsonflies Dobsonflies Dobsonflies Stout, flexible filaments, extend from abdomen Stout, flexible filaments, extend from abdomen Long, somewhat flattened body Long, somewhat flattened body 2 prolegs at the end, with two claws on each proleg 2 prolegs at the end, with two claws on each proleg Sensitive to pollution Sensitive to pollution

23 Midges (Order Diptera) Worm-like, but with definite head and prolegs (usually) Worm-like, but with definite head and prolegs (usually) “Twitchy” swimmers “Twitchy” swimmers Pollution tolerant Pollution tolerant head prolegs

24 Blackflies (Order Diptera) Shaped like bowling pin Shaped like bowling pin Two fans on top of head for filtering Two fans on top of head for filtering Attaches to substrate with ring of hooks Attaches to substrate with ring of hooks Single proleg beneath head Single proleg beneath head Tolerant of pollution Tolerant of pollution proleg

25 Craneflies (Order Diptera) Long, fleshy abdomen Long, fleshy abdomen Head often withdrawn & concealed by thorax Head often withdrawn & concealed by thorax Some have pairs of prolegs beneath abdomen Some have pairs of prolegs beneath abdomen Somewhat tolerant (other Diptera are more tolerant) Somewhat tolerant (other Diptera are more tolerant) Some are shedders, other predators Some are shedders, other predators prolegs head

26 Water Boatman & Water Striders (Order Hemiptera) Water Strider Water Strider “Skates” around on top of water “Skates” around on top of water Front legs grab & beak pierces prey Front legs grab & beak pierces prey Water Boatman Water Boatman Oval body with wavy lines across a dark colored back Oval body with wavy lines across a dark colored back Oar-like legs Oar-like legs Backswimmer (not shown) Backswimmer (not shown) Similar to boatman but swims upside down Similar to boatman but swims upside down Dark underside & light-colored back Dark underside & light-colored back CAUTION -- can bite! CAUTION -- can bite! water strider water boatman

27 Credits & Resources Photos Photos by Michael Clapp & Jr CAM science students by Michael Clapp & Jr CAM science students Websites: Websites: www.nwnature.net www.nwnature.net Information on CAM Jr/Sr High School water quality monitoring and macroinvertebrate study can be found on the web: Information on CAM Jr/Sr High School water quality monitoring and macroinvertebrate study can be found on the web:www.bgsd.k12.wa.us/hml/macros Email: Email: clapp.michael@bgsd.k12.wa.us clapp.michael@bgsd.k12.wa.us Resources: Resources: Macroinvertebrates of the Pacific Northwest by Jeff Adams and Mace Vaughan Freshwater Macroinvertebrates from Streams in WA & OR by Michael R. Clapp Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Field Guide and Biomonitoring Reference Manual for the Willamette Valley by Patrick Edwards Freshwater Invertebrates by J. Reese Voshell, Jr. Guide to Pacific Northwest Aquatic Macroinvertebrates by Rick Hafele & Steve Hinton


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