Week 10: Macro-invertibrates
Click the PDF icon for Week 6.
Set to print at 95% or fit to
page. Cut around the grey
border before folding.
Week 10: Macro-invertibrates
Butterfly aren't the only insect that goes through a metamorphosis.
Dragonfly, Caddisfly and Mosquitoes also undergo an
amazing transformation. This week we will study their immature
forms. See if you can find all 3 in nature this week! To get started,
click the PDF icon for Week 10. Set to print at 95% or fit to page.
Cut around the grey border before folding.
Macro-invertebrate: Animals without a backbone; large enough
to be seen with the naked eye; live on the bottom of streams,
lakes, and rivers.
Larva: The active immature form of an insect, especially one
that differs greatly from the adult and forms the stage between
egg and pupa. (Plural: larvae)
Traits: 1 - 3 inches long, brown caterpillar-like bodies,
use silk to make protective cases, which are strengthened
with gravel, sand, twigs, pieces of plants, or other debris
Habitat: Streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, vernal pools
Order: Diptera (True Flies)
Traits: Up to a half-inch long, brown, wriggling worm-like body,
hang upside down at water surface
Habitat: Still water found in swamps, vernal pools, ditches
Traits: Up to 1 inch, brown and bulky,
large head and abdomen, short antennae
Habitat: Still or slow-moving water found in vernal
pools, ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams
Take a walk to a nearby pond or stream with an ice-cube tray, spoon & net. Fill the tray with water and use the spoon & net to collect various life in the water. Use the ID-guides on this page to identify what you have found.
Make a Bug Net
- Mesh produce bag
- 8-inch plastic embroidery hoop
- 1/2-inch wooden dowel
- Colored wire
1. Loosen the screw on the
embroidery hoop, and remove
the center ring.
2. Wrap the mesh produce bag around the center ring,
then slide it back in the outer ring and re-fasten the screw.
3. Trim away any excess mesh fabric.
4. Wrap colored wire around the end of a wooden dowel,
then use the wire to attach the dowel to the embroidery
hoop to make a handle.
Build Your Own Macro Equipment
Click HERE to build some of your own equipment
Bugs Don't Bug Me
Utah State University Water Quality Extension created this great
educational resource for grades K-6. Click HERE to download.
Print & Fold
Pocket Nature Journal
Each week we feature a lesser known naturalist in our Pocket Journal Series.
In this space you will find the full quote and more information about the author.
Pati Ortiz, Entymologist and professor in Costa Rica
From a song Pati wrote about lightning bugs -
“It’s time to tell you while I dance in the canopy/
That I’m the light you saw yesterday/
A secret code communicates where I am/
Sometimes what you see is a shock”
“Chica, do not fear. These creatures [aquatic macroinvertebrates] understand that life is fleeting. They are crushed as easily by a rock rolling down the river. They do not fear death because they understand it.”
Pati Ortiz was a beloved and regionally renowned professor and entymologist in Costa Rica. Originally from Ecuador, she moved to the Monteverde region and began teaching students in sustainability and wildlife biology programs at the Monteverde Institute in 1997. In addition to teaching, Pati wrote music and created documentaries to highlight the importance of aquatic systems and the insects that lived in them. She readily integrated knowledge and respect of local human communities in all her lessons. Pati was beloved by her colleagues and students from around the world, who were inspired by her knowledge, her vivacity, and her passion.
Pati was tragically killed as she protected one of her students in
a freak rock slide while visiting a local waterfall. At the time,
she was working on a documentary film to educate people on
the importance of keeping water clean, from source to the ocean.
Posthumously, a U.S. scientist, John Longino identified 33 new
species of predatory ants, 10 of which are found in Costa Rica.
In Pati’s honor, he named one Ortizae. “She was a rising star
of tropical biology,” Longino said.
Pati Ortiz in the field.
Pati enjoying one of her many loves.