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MACROINVERTEBRATES INDEX

Aquatic macroinvertebrates
Macroinvertebrates are relatively big invertebrates, you can see them without a
microscope (they are between 0,5 mm and 3 mm)
Most of them are arthropods, and we can find arachnids, crustaceans and
insects; we can also find worms, leeches and molluscs.
They inform us about the quality of water, due to some characteristics:
-

Great diversity of species with different tolerance to pollution levels.


Low movility: they usually live in the same place.
Their identification is easy.
They live around a year, so they give us information about last year.

We can associate their presence to several water characteristics. Here, we will


get a biological index of quality, which show the quality of water.

BASIC RULES; PROTOCOL FOR THE STUDY OF MACROINVERTEBRATES

Choose an area
Observation of the surface
Use the sieve to collect the macroinvertebrates. You have to get it into the
water and pick up samples from it.
Separate and classify the macroinvertebrates. Put them
in a tray.
Calculation of the macroinvertebrate index
- Fill the presence and scoring table; you have to put an X
in the appropiate square in every sample you take when you
find the corresponding animal; just one X per sample, even if you find
more than one animal of the same kind every time.
Take 10 samples.
- Return the animals back to the water after every sample.
- Sum the number of X of every item and multiply them by its scoring.
- Sum the values that you get and that is the macroinvertebrate index.
Usually, the higher the index is, the better the quality of water is.

Waterworm

Mosquito larva

Dytiscidae

Leech

Fly larva

Water scorpion

Crayfish

Freshwater snail

Clam

Dragonfly larva

Damselfly larva

Water escribano

Zapatero

Shrimp

IDENTIFICATION KEY OF ACUATIC MACROINVERTEBRATES

Just 1 shell: freshwater snail


Items with shell: Molluscs
Two shells: clam

Leech
Segmented body, no legs or antennas

Waterworm

mosquito larva

Fake legs: Diptera


fly larva

No segmented body, 6 legs

Long abdomen, no wings

Items without Shell

water escribano
Hard wings: Dytiscidae
Zapatero

With wings

Membranous wings
Water scorpion

Shrimps
With caparace and 10 legs

Crayfish

Dragonfly larva
Big mouth

Damselfly larva

ITEMS

SCORING

PRESENCE IN SAMPLES
No 1 No 2 No 3 No 4 No 5 No 6 No 7 No 8 No 9 No 10

Clam

Crayfish

Damselfly larva

Dragonfly larva

Dytiscidae

Fly larva

Freshwater snail

Leech

Mosquito larva

Shrimp

Water escribano

Water scorpion

Waterworms

Zapatero

FINAL SCORE :