Waterbugs

Build Me A River video

John Gooderham is an aquatic and macroinvertebrate ecologist with a knack for sharing his enthusiasm for waterbugs.  This video highlights the importance of in-stream and riparian zone habitat to healthy bug populations, takes us underwater into the secret world of waterbugs and provides incredible close-up video of waterbugs that you are unlikely to see elsewhere (including time lapse footage of a caddisfly emerging from it’s larvae form).

  • Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

River Detectives Program School Plan

Use this School Plan to start a conversation with colleagues delivering the River Detectives program in your setting.  This is a great template to use at the start of the year with lots of useful questions to promote thinking and space to document the approach you plan to take.

There is also a useful template for sharing your River Detectives data and experience with others at the end of a term/year.

 

  • Activity Sheet, General, Teacher, Water bugs, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

An introduction to identifying waterbugs with the Waterbug App

This hour-long video was recorded in 2020 for a Melbourne Water webinar series. John Gooderham is a lead expert and creator of the National Waterbug Blitz and the knowledge he shares in this webinar could be very useful for upper secondary students or teachers wishing to improve their identification skills and expertise with the Waterbug App.

  • Teacher, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Waterbug Discovery video

Join Deirdre and Kristen from Corangamite CMA for a great introduction to waterbugs in the Corangamite region.  Get to know your regional River Detective staff, how to conduct a sampling session and the creatures you might find.  For lower primary students, pause the video to read the text slides aloud.

The Now and Then resource referred to is also found on the River Detectives website.

  • All, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • Corangamite CMA,

Waterbugs and water quality video

This 5 minute video from the Envirotube youtube channel explains how waterbugs are important indicators of water quality and habitat diversity and how changes in waterway health can impact them.

  • Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Introducing waterbugs video

This short 3 minute video by Priya from Melbourne Water is a fabulous tool to introduce waterbugs to your students; what they are, how they live, their wonderful adaptions, why they are so important to the aquatic ecosystem and how they can help us assess water quality and habitat diversity.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Advanced identification key (using Agreed Level Taxonomy)

This more advanced key can be used with secondary students to identify waterbugs using a more detailed and scientific process.  It is an alternative to some of the other simpler id charts, keys and digital options found in the Help Me Test -Waterbugs area of the website.

  • Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Make your own window sill pond

This series of videos takes you on a journey watching the development of a window sill pond over three weeks.  Take a look then give it a go with your students !

See how the pond evolves during Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

How to take great waterbug photos with your device

This video by waterbug guru John Gooderham of The Waterbug Company is full of tips and tricks to take great photos of macroinvertebrates with an iphone when using The Waterbug App for identification.

Designed so that photos can be uploaded as part of the National Waterbug Blitz program, this video is just as relevant for River Detectives to study waterbugs and record findings digitally.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

How beetles breathe under water video

A great video from the Deep Look youtube channel analysing the adaptions beetles have developed to survive and thrive in their aquatic environments.

Students will love this peek into the amazing world of water beetles.  Check out Deep Look on youtube for other fascinating videos about the lives of terrestrial bugs.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Water Striders up close video

A great video from the Deep Look youtube channel analysing the various ways that water striders have evolved to become expert hunters of their aquatic prey.

Students will love this peek into the amazing world of water striders.  Check out Deep Look on youtube for other fascinating videos about the lives of terrestrial bugs.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Water Spider v Water Strider video

A great video from the Monster Bug Wars youtube channel showcasing the unique adaptions of water striders and how they would match up in a battle against a water spider.

  • All, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Resourcing your macroinvertebrate sampling kit

Autumn and/or Spring are great times to sample with students.  Sampling equipment can be borrowed from your Regional River Detectives Coordinator.  Contact them to book it ahead of time.

Ideally it’s wonderful to sample several times a year and across different seasons so students can practise their skills regularly and observe patterns/changes.  Having your own sampling equipment at school ready to go means that you’re more likely to grab opportunities to conduct macro sampling without the hassle of borrowing equipment.

Most equipment is readily available but specialised equipment such as a sampling net and picking trays can be purchased at The Waterbug Shop (a great use of grant funding/sponsorship if you have a supportive local Landcare group or business)

To set up your own kit use this guide.

  • All, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Now and Then waterbug guide

This booklet was produced quite some time ago by Corangamite CMA but remains a useful resource with waterbug profiles including fantastic photos showing the scale of bugs compared to a five cent piece, life cycle sketches and sketches/descriptions of the six main types of waterbug mouthparts (useful graphics for student research projects).

Information and graphics from this booklet have also been used to produce our Waterbug Fact Sheets.

  • All, Fact sheet, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Waterbug Data Sheet

Use this data sheet on site or at school to record your waterbug data after sampling.  You can enter your waterbug data online at the ‘Let’s Test and Record’ tab of this website.

  • Activity Sheet, All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Waterbug fact sheets

Comprehensive fact sheets on a variety of bugs in each of the sensitivity categories including photos, sketches, life cycle images and information on size, appearance, habitat, diet, movement, predators, life cycles and other interesting facts

  • All, Fact sheet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

River Detectives Field Manual

This is a copy of the Field Manual you receive a version of in your water quality test kit.  If you lose your hard copy you can access it here.  Be aware that this is the full manual – some pages may be irrelevant to you depending on the equipment you have and the region you are in.

  • Flora (plants), Guide/Activity booklet, Teacher, Water bugs, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

The Waterbug Shop

The Waterbug Shop was established as a better way for people to access equipment and resources for the sampling and identification of waterbugs.
If your school or group is looking to purchase macroinvertebrate sampling equipment this is a great place to start.

  • Teacher, Water bugs, Website,
  • All Regions,

Urban Stormwater poster

This poster is a fantastic resource to use demonstrate the impact of litter that can flow into a waterway with urban stormwater.  It highlights the often unknown fact that only 10% of waterway litter is visible from the surface and a disturbing 90% will be hidden under the water.

The  Water Bug pictures could be placed on the poster to create discussion about how they (and other fauna) would be impacted by stormwater pollution and how this would impact on the entire food chain.

  • All, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Wonderful Waterbugs

You may like to use this activity sheet from Melbourne Water when completing a sampling activity – includes a space to sketch the bugs you find and profiles on five common waterbugs.

  • Activity Sheet, Fact sheet, Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Waterbug Face Facebook page

This page is run by freshwater ecologists dedicated to assisting with waterbug ID from photos.  Send your image in for help with identification and check out posts for very cool photos and videos of waterbugs in action.

  • All, Water bugs, Website,
  • All Regions,

The Waterbug App

The Waterbug app helps you identify waterbugs from Australia.

Work through the scientific key on your device to answer questions that help you identify your waterbug, or whizz through speedbug and see if you recognize it.

A fantastic portable, paper-free resource for waterbug identification.

  • All, App, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

In Stream Habitat Poster

This poster is a fantastic resource to use during macroinvertebrate sampling sessions to demonstrate the five habitats that exist within a waterway;  on the surface (surface zone), in open water (deep zone), amongst vegetation (reed zone), on rocks/logs/gravel (substrate zone) and amid the sediment (benthic zone).  Use the links below to each quarter of the poster to print as A3, laminate and join for a class-size poster you can keep.

Top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right

Use the information on the reverse of the  Water Bug pictures to have students place them in their correct habitat on the poster.

  • All, Flora (plants), Poster, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Exploring Surface Water Tension and Water Striders

This unit comprising of 6 lesson plans for upper primary will develop student’s scientific inquiry skills while learning about water tension and how a water strider utilises water tension to survive.

For more surface tension science experiments check out this video.

  • Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Mosquito Madness

The unit provides 5 lesson plans to allow students to understand the life cycle of mosquitoes, specifically their morphogenesis and the way the organism changes appearance throughout its lifetime. Other key topics include mosquito habitats, ecology and environmental impacts on the mosquito population.

  • Fauna (animals), Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Waterbugs Higher Level Key

Closely observe the features of macroinvertebrates and use the questions on this key to work your way to an identification using the Agreed Level Taxonomy (ALT) method.

For more info on ALT method, go to: thewaterbug.net

  • Activity Sheet, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Waterbug ID chart

Use this poster as a field guide to identify waterbugs in your sample, understand the in-stream habitats they prefer and use the sensitivity scores to rate the health of your waterway.

It can be laminated (or similar) and used with white board markers for longevity.

 

  • Activity Sheet, All, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Waterbug colouring sheets

Use Melbourne Water’s beautiful colouring images of waterbugs for education / relaxation.

A mix of waterbugs             Diving Beetle                 Dragonfly Larvae

Sensitive waterbugs           Freshwater Snail

Mayfly life cycles                Wetland waterbugs

  • Activity Sheet, All, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

How to run a waterbug session video

In this video Priya from Melbourne Water takes you through the key steps of how to sample and study macroinvertebrates (waterbugs).

Don’t forget to contact your local Catchment Management Authority to arrange a loan of macroinvertebrate equipment to run a sampling activity with your students or set up your school’s own kit.

  • Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Water Bug Outlines

Use these bug outlines for colouring, collage, making posters/dioramas, classifying, making a food chain, as a starting point for research, etc.

  • Activity Sheet, Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

How to make a bug dial

Make your own bug dial and learn more about the bugs you’ve identified.  Find out about the way they move, their sensitivity to pollutants, where they live and special features.

 

 

  • Activity Sheet, All, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

All about water bugs

Use these cards to;

  • print and assemble cards with picture and information back to back (laminated will increase their longevity) and use with the In Stream Habitat Poster to place bugs in their preferred habitat zone
  • print the pictures and information separately and match to each other.  Up the stakes and do this in a game of Concentration.
  • play celebrity head to ‘guess the bug’
  • sort the bugs into groups; herbivores/carnivores, legs/no legs, habitat zones, sensitive/tolerant.  How else could you classify them ?
  • print two sets (pictures only) and use for games of concentration, snap or fish to practise identification skills
  • Activity Sheet, All, Fact sheet, Game, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Water Bug Flip Charts

An interactive resource about the most common macroinvertebrates.  Set on a 5 cent piece, images help students understand the size and scale of waterbugs and when your mouse hovers on an image it flips to reveal a fact file of the bug’s name, size, physical features and interesting adaptions.

 

  • All, Fact sheet, Guide/Activity booklet, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,