Devilbend Foundation

The little things Matter

Macro Inverterbrates

Waterbugs, the little creatures living in Devilbend Reserve waterways and surrounding catchment drain can help tell us the health of the water. They also provide an abundance of food for a variety of fish and bird life.
Above & below images taken by Hansi Wegner

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Discovering the little things

Monitoring macroinvertebrates is important because different types of macroinvertebrates can withstand different levels of water pollution. They are a good indicator for understanding waterway health.
Macroinvertebrates are small animals that can be seen with the naked eye and don't have a backbone.
A large variety live in our waterways - Backswimmers, Damselflies, Diving Beetles and Flatworms.
One of the best known is the Dragonfly, or mud-eyes as known to keen freshwater fishermen.

​Very tolerant to pollution

Examples: Snails, flatworms, leechs, mosquito larvae. Typically found in ​highly disturbed streams, inner city or industrial areas.

​Tolerant to pollution

Examples:​ Freshwater shrimp, amphipod, dragonfly. Typically found in disturbed streams or suburban streams.

​Sensitive to pollution

Examples: Caddisfly, mayfly, diving beetle. Typically found in streams with little disturbance, well vegetated streams in farmland or low density housing.

​​Very sensitive to pollution

Examples: ​Stonefly nymphs, damsel fly larvae. Typically found in streams with good water quality and habitat or in forested areas.

Monitoring Locations

Currently, the Macroinvertebrates monitoring is conducted
twice yearly, Autumn and Spring at these locations:

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Join the Waterbug Census

Click on the link below to find out how you can get involved in your area with Melbourne Waters
Waterbug Census