Benthic Macroinvertebrate Resources

Provided here are a wide variety of resources that will help you become more familiar with benthic macroinvertebrates.  There are examples of simple field guides, family-level manuals and a wide variety of additional resources.  You may begin your study by choosing one of the links from the list of resource below.

Note: Many of the links below are or include portable document files (pdf).

  1. WV Save Our Streams Program Guide to Aquatic Invertebrates: Multiple websites that provide background information and descriptions for a wide variety of aquatic invertebrate families found in our state waters.
  2. Benthic Enviro-Fact Sheet
  3. Cacapon Institute's Benthic Portal: CI's portal offers a variety of learning activities related to to stream surveys and macroinvertebrate identification.
  4. Carnegie Museum of Natural History - Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Collection 
  5. Guide to Aquatic Invertebrates of the Mid-Atlantic (MD DNR)
  6. Guide to Aquatic Invertebrates of the Upper Midwest (University of MN: Water Resource Center)
  7. University of Alberta, Department of Biological Sciences. 2007. Aquatic Invertebrates of Alberta Online Textbook 
  8. University of Minnesota's Volunteer Stream Monitoring Interactive Verification Program
Various Guides and Identification Keys  
  1. From WV Save Our Streams: Level-one [Visual Macro-ID Guide and Couplet-Key];  Level-two [Field guide and an advanced dichotomous key
  2. More field guides: MO Stream Team Key to Macroinvertebrates in Rivers and a basic Identification Chart; VA Save Our Streams Macorinvertebrate ID-Guide; University of Wisconsin's Key to Life in a Pond and Key to Life in a River; Stroud Water Research Center Macro-Key; Guide to Common Mayfly Families of Britain; IOWAWATER Benthic Macroinvertebrate Key; NRM Education Basic Identification Key; Kentucky Waterwatch An Introduction to Benthic Macroinvertebrates; NW Nature Net Macroinvertebrates of Washington and Oregon  
Additional Information  
  1. Identification Activity: Practise your macroinvertebrate identification skills
  2. Benefits of Aquatic Invertebrates (Society for Freshwater Science); Click-Here to learn more about ecosystem services aquatic invertebrates provide.
  3. Creek Connection's Aquatic invertebrate presentation
  4. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Critter Fact Sheets
  5. Effects of mountaintop coal mining on benthic communities (US EPA's Biological Team)
  6. Nature Net's Macroinvertebrate and Water Quality Resoruces 
  7. NY Dept. of Conservation Freshwater Macroinvertebrates of NY
  8. Technical resources from NC State's Stream Restoration training program
  9. WVDEP’s Benthic macroinvertebrate video ( 28-min)
  10. More benthic macroinvertebrate references and resources   
Click-Here to learn how WVDEP's Watershed Assessment Branch uses benthic macroinvertebrates to determine the biological integrity of our streams and rivers 

Note: If your organization decides to complete independant surveys that includes aquatic collections, you must apply for and receive a Scientific Collection Permit from the WVDNR [§20-2-50]. 

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