Why are they important? y y pProvide food for fish and other organismsFeed on algae, organic matter, and eachotherReturn nutrients to the water for otherR t t i t t th t f thorganisms when they die The The Middlemen of the Food Chain!
Benthic Macros are Indicator OrganismsMany species spend a large amount (or all)of their life cycles in the water.They cannot easily “swim away” fromppollution.Can reflect past or cumulative pollutants inthe water. waterSome are very sensitive to pollution, othersare not. not
Mayfly Nymph 1/4”- i l th 1/4”-1” in length Herbivore or scavenger Plate- Plate like fil Pl -lik or filament gills on sides of body Wing d Wi pads present on t thorax Usually 3 long hair-like long, hair- tails
Gilled Snail Shell opens on the right p g Opening covered by thin plate called operculum Breathes through a gill inside body shell Herbivore or d i i H bi detritivore
Caddisfly Larvae Up to 1/2” in length Mostly detritivore or y v herbivore. 6 hooked legs on upper g pp third of body 2 hooks at back end Green or brown with dark head May be found in rock, stick, or leaf case
Crane Fly Larvae 1/3” - 2” in length i l th Herbivore or detritivore Plump caterpillar-like caterpillar- segmented body Finger- Finger-like lobes at back end Typically white in color, can be green or brown