Studying Macroinvertebrates in Sunnyside Pond Habitat



In October, 1999, Ms. Susan Lewis, from the Washington State University Environmental Education Center, came to our classroom to teach us how you can use samples of macroinvertebrates to decide the quality of pond water. Macroinvertebrates are insects. Click here to learn more about macroinvertebrates.

She used the overhead projector to show us what macroinvertebrates looked liked.


We learned that some macroinvertebrates, like caddis flies, stone flies, and mayflies are very sensitive to pollution. Other macroinvertebrates are somewhat sensitive to pollution and others are tolerant of pollution.

Ms. Lewis showed us the tools you use to sample macroinvertebrates.

She showed us the D-net that you use to collect macroinvertebrates from the pond.





Ms. Lewis showed us the tools you use to sample macroinvertebrates.

She showed us the D-net that you use to collect macroinvertebrates from the pond.


She showed us the eyedropper tool you can use to collect macroinvertebrates.





The day after Ms. Lewis came to our classroom for a lesson on macro invertebrates, we met her at Sunnyside Pond to look at the water for macroinvertebrates.

She and her team had work stations with all the tools we needed to look for and identify macroinvertebrates.

Our tools included:

white plastic tubs with pond water

plastic ice cube trays for collecting insects

turkey basters to pick up and move the insects from the plastic tub to the trays

tweezers to pick up and move insects to the trays

rulers for measuring insects

magnifying glasses to look closely at insects

misting bottles to keep the insects wet while we looked at them

identification charts to figure out what insects we had in the pond




We worked in small groups at the stations to do our macroinvertebrate science.

We used the baster to collect the insects we wanted to look at.





We used tweezers to move the insects from the plastic tub of water into the trays so we could look at them closely.


Here is one of the trays with insects.




We kept misting the insects while they were in the trays so they wouldn't get dry.





We used a magnifying glass to look closely at the insects.





We measured the insects and used identification keys to help us decide what insects we had in the pond.


We made data notes of what we found using writing and pencil sketches.




From our data notes, we discovered that we had the following insects in the pond water:


stone flies

caddis flies

These insects can only survive in unpolluted water. This means we have clean water in the pond!!!

We also found midge larvae and back swimmers in the pond water.

We gave Mr. Davis a report about the clean pond water.

We will keep sampling the water several times during the school year to see what macroinvertebrates are living at the pond and to see if the pond water stays clean.


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INDEX of Water Habitat Web Pages

First Pond Page/A Look At Photo Journals/Writing About Water Habitats/Water Habitat Quilt/First Meeting With Mr.Alan Davis/Response to Pond Floods/Observation of the Great Blue Heron/Presentation to City of Pullman/Pond Birds/Pond Trees and Shrubs/Water Habitat I*EARN Conference Keynote Address/Photo Journal August 1999/Second Meeting With Mr.Alan Davis and Mr. Fetter/Research on Plantings for New Island/Planting Grass Seeds Photo Journal October 1999/Studying Pond Macroinvertebrates/Return to Classroom Index