Crowsnest Conservation Society

Bioindicators: No Backbone Required

FROM: Oldman Watershed Council

Q: What is a Benthic Macroinvertebrate?

A: Benthic macroinvertebrates (BMIs) are little creepy crawlies found in our streams and lakes. The word benthic relates to organisms found in the beds of our rivers and lakes. A macroinvertebrate is an organism that lacks a spine but is still visible to the naked eye. These creatures are seen in all different shapes and colours, from dragonflies to worms to mayflies to snails. Many benthic invertebrates, such as stoneflies and dragonflies, are aquatic during the juvenile stages of their life cycle (as nymphs and larvae), but emerge from the water and fly in the air as adults. Other invertebrates, such as snails and some worms, will remain aquatic throughout their entire life cycle.


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Mail:     P.O. Box 242, Crowsnest Pass, AB, T0K 0E0
Office:  12707-20 Avenue, Crowsnest Pass, AB
Phone: (403) 753-2040