List of current aquatic insect templates. While the greater majority of the organisms we find are in fact insects, there are a few listed here for convenience that are non insects. Pages for streams and rivers that use the insect templates are also listed here for your convenience.
Which taxonomic level?
Depending on your needs and access to microscopes, you may decide to identify your specimens to family or to genus. Rivers that are sufficiently different from each other can very often be distinguished by identification to just the family level (for example). Streams that are more similar may require genus-level identification.
Families end in idae and selecting family-level identification will simplify your work while sacrificing some information. For some groups such as the Chironomidae where identification past family is challenging, we provide only family-level templates (we invite specialists to collaborate by contributing templates to address this gap).
Most ecologists work simultaneously at several levels identifying to the lowest practical level (family for some taxa; genus for others). These operational taxonomic units (OTU) form the basis for a great many surveys of taxonomic richness. Whatever level of identification you choose will generate useful information for you and your students.
Why did we choose a particular taxonomic level?
In some cases there is just a single genus in a family and we usually provide a genus-level template. For some common families like Baetidae and Hydropsychidae there are many genera. In those cases it is our goal to provide the best coverage of the genera that we can and also to provide a template for those doing family-level identification.
This category has only the following subcategory.