Introduction to Benthic Macroinvertebrates Trout In The Classroom Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited 2009 / 2010
State Water Quality Standards Standards are based on how we use water: 1. 2. 3. Standards include a general requirement that all state waters are free of pollutants harmful to animal, plant, and aquatic life. This standard allows the state to consider stream habitat and aquatic insects as indicators of water quality.
Aquatic Insects as Bio- Indicators of Water Quality There are important reasons why benthic macroinvertebrates are used to assess water quality: 1) they are found in all streams; 2) there are many different species; 3) they stay in the same spot in a stream; 4) they react to different conditions in the stream over long periods of time; and 5) they are easy to sample and identify.
Benthic Macroinvertebrates Benthic = dwelling on stream bottom Macro = large enough to see with naked eye Invertebrates = without a backbone Other benthic aquatic organisms = aquatic insects that have three body parts (head, thorax, abdominal segment) and six legs When you try to identify an organism, these are some details to notice
Six true legs plus lateral filaments Six segmented legs More than six legs prolegs Key ID Features -Legs
Key ID Feature – Tails Two tails Feather- like tails No tail or tiny tail Tail-like projection
Credits Slides and notes used in this presentation were provided for educational purposes by: Virginia Save Our Streams Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Alice Furguson Foundation – Bridging the Watershed Audubon Naturalist Society And a very special thanks to Darrell Schwalm of the Shenandoah Valley TU chapter for putting this presentation together.