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A Pictorial Guide to the Orders of Aquatic Invertebrates

National Aquatic Monitoring Center, a.k.a. The BugLab Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322-5210


(Caddisflies) Larvae characteristics: Fleshy abdomen 2 claws on last abdominal segment sometimes hiding in a case made of vegetation, sand, or small stones

Brachycentridae Brachycentrus

Glossosomatidae Glossosoma

Hydropsychdae Hydropsyche

Hydroptilidae Mayatrichia

Hydroptilidae Palaegapetus

Lepidostomatidae Lepidostoma

Leptoceridae Mystacides

Odontoceridae Marilia

Philopotamidae Chimmarra

Polycentropodidae Cyrnellus

Ryhacophilidae Ryhacophila

Uenoidae Neophylax

The BugLab, Utah State University© May 2001

Ephemeroptera (Mayflies) Larvae characteristics: Two thoracic segments gills on abdomen usually three tails and one claw

Baetidae Baetis

Baetidae Baetis

Baetiscidae Baetisca

Caenidae Caenis

Ephemerellidae Caudatella

Ephemerellidae Drunella

Ephemerellidae Timpanoga

Ephemeridae Hexagenia limbata

Heptageniidae Epeorus (2 tails)

Heptageniidae Stenonema

Leptophelbiidae Paraleptophlebia

Leptophelbiidae Paraleptophlebia debilis

Leptohyphidae Asioplax

Leptohyphidae Tricorythodes

Siphlonuridae Siphlonurus

The BugLab, Utah State University© May 2001

Plecoptera (Stoneflies) Larvae characteristics: three thoracic segments gills if any on neck and thorax all have two tails (cerci) all have two claws

Chloroperlidae Sweltsa

Nemouridae Amphinemura

Nemouridae Malenka

Perlidae Calineuria

Perlodidae Isogenoides

Perlodidae Perlinodes

Peltoperlidae Soliperia

Pteronarcyidae Pteronarcys californica

Taeniopterygidae Taenyopteryx

Taeniopterygidae Oemopteryx (both)

Odonata (Dragonflies and damselflies) Larvae characteristics: Hinged mouthparts Damselflies

Coenagrionidae Argia

Dragonflies Gomphidae Lanthus Libellulidae Libellulidae Libellula pulchella

The BugLab, Utah State University© May 2001

Diptera (Flies) Larvae characteristics: Usually elongate Maggot like Never posses segmented legs

Blephariceridae (net winged midges)

Ceratopogonidae (no-see-ums)

Ceratopogonidae Bezzia

Chironomidae (midges)

Chironomidae Nostococladius buried in Nostoc algae

Chironomidae Pupae

Culicidae (mosquitoes) Culiseta

Culicidae pupae & adult

Dixidae Meringodixa

Empididae Oreogeton

Ephydridae (rat-tail maggot)

Nymphomyiidae Nymphomyia

Simuliidae (blackflies)

Simuliidae pupae

Tipulidae (craneflies) Hesperoconopa

The BugLab, Utah State University© May 2001

Family Chironomidae (midges) Larvae characteristics: front and back prolegs small skinny body complete head capsule

Chironominae: two separate eyes

Orthocladiinae: weeping eyes and dark head

Tanypodinae: single eye that is round or `Pac-man' shaped, light mouthparts

The BugLab, Utah State University© May 2001

Hemiptera (True bugs) Adults most often encountered Characteristics: mouthparts united in a jonted beak mandibles concealed wings or wing pads present legs present

Belostomatidae Corixidae Hesperocorixa (Giant waterbugs, toe biter) (water boatmen)

Gerridae (water striders)

Hydrometridae Hydrometra

Naucoridae Notonectidae (backswimmers) Nonecta kirbyi (creeping waterbugs) Ambrysus

Megaloptera (Dobsonflies, alderfiles, and fishflies Larvae characteristics: lateral filaments


larvae Corydalus cognatus larvae and adult


Sialis Lepidoptera (moths) Larvae characteristics: Segmented legs and prolegs at least two pair of ventral fleshy leg-like protuberances tipped with tiny hooks Sialis

Pyralidae Petrophila (dorsal and ventral)

The BugLab, Utah State University© May 2001

Coleoptera (Beetles) Characteristics: No anal claws fleshy abdomen mandibles present legs suitable for walking adults also aquatic

Amphizoidae (trout stream beetles) Amphizoa

Dytiscidae Dytiscidae (Predaceous diving beetles) Agabus Coptotomus

Dytiscidae Hydaticus

Dytiscidae (Predaceous diving beetles) Oreodytes

Dytiscidae Rhantus

Dytiscidae (Predaceous diving beetles) Themonectus marmoratus

Elmidae (Riffle beetles) Optioservus Microylloepus


Gyrinidae (whirligig beetles) Gyrinus

Haliplidae (crawling water beetles) Peltodytes

Hydrophilidae (water scavenger beetles) Ametor

Hydrophilidae Berosus

Hydrophilidae Paracymus

Psephenidae (water pennies) Eubrianax

The BugLab, Utah State University© May 2001

Commonly encountered non-insects

Mollusca Pelecypoda (clams and mussels)

Corbiculidae Corbicula Margaritifera. Spahaeriidae Pisidium

Mollusca Gastropoda (snails)

Ancylidae (limpets) Lymnaeidae Ferrissia Planorbidae

Pleuroceridae Juga

Physidae Physella

Large to medium sized Crustaceans

Decapoda (crayfish) Anostraca (fairy shrimp) Notostraca (tadpole shrimp) Triops longicaudatus

Small sized Crustaceans

Amphipoda (scuds) Amphipoda Crangonyctidae Gammarus (top), Hyallela (bottom) Stygobromus Isopoda (sow bugs) Asellidae

Tiny sized Crustaceans Zooplankton

Cladocera (water fleas) Copepoda Ostracoda (clam shrimp)

The BugLab, Utah State University© May 2001

Annelids Worms, leeches

Hirundinea (leeches) Nematoda (round worms) Oligochaeta Lumbruculidae (segmented worms)


Coelenterata Hydridae Collembola (springtails)

The BugLab, Utah State University© May 2001



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