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Gold Coast natural environment

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Macroinvertebrates (water bugs)

Click to enlargeCity of Gold Coast workers inspecting water bugs

Aquatic macroinvertebrates also known as water bugs are small animals without a backbone. They live all or part of their lives in water and there are many different types. Aquatic macroinvertebrates include dragonfly larvae, mosquito larvae, water fleas, beetles and snails.

Macroinvertebrates offer important functions in aquatic environment as they:

  • recycle nutrients by scavenging (sifting) dead or decaying (rotting) bacteria, plants and animals
  • provide a vital food source for native fish, birds, platypus, frogs and reptiles
  • serve as a great 'biological indicator' of waterway health.

Water bugs and water quality

Water bugs live in our freshwater waterways and are highly sensitive to changes in the water. Each water bug has certain sensitivity to pollution or changes to water quality. A healthy waterway will have a large number of different types of water bugs present. A polluted or disturbed waterway will only have a few different types of water bugs. By sampling water bug community types and numbers we can better understand waterway health.

More information

For more information and advice contact the City’s Catchment Management Unit on 1300 GOLDCOAST (1300 465 326) or 07 5582 8211.

Click to enlarge

Macroinvertebrates in water
Macroinvertebrates (water bugs)
Water bug)
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