About the Macroinvertebrate Photos
The photographs in the guide were taken with a digital camera specifically designed for use with a stereo microscope. A magnification of between 7x to 100x was used to take the photographs. Photos in the guide are of organisms collected with a kick net from riffle areas of streams with substrates consisting of rocks, gravel and sand. The relatively fast current and varied substrate provides habitat for a diverse community of macroinvertebrates to colonize. Photos of organisms not found in stream riffles in New York State are not included in the guide.
Since 1972, the Stream Biomonitoring Unit of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has used aquatic macroinvertebrates to monitor the water quality of the State's rivers and streams. Macroinvertebrates are larger-than-microscopic invertebrate animals. Freshwater macroinvertebrates include aquatic insects, worms, clams, snails, and crustaceans. Because of their abundance and their sensitivity to environmental impacts, they are widely used in biomonitoring programs for assessing water quality.