Benthic Resources

BMI Resources

Provided here are a wide variety of resources that will help you become more familiar with benthic macroinvertebrates. There are examples of simple field guides, family-level manuals and a wide variety of additional resources. You may begin your study by choosing one of the links from the list of resource below.

Many of the links below are or include portable document files (PDF).


  • Guide to Aquatic Invertebrates
    • Description: Multiple websites that provide background information and descriptions for a wide variety of aquatic invertebrate families found within our state waters.
  • Enviro-Fact Sheet
    • Description: Environment fact sheet for benthic macroinvertebrates, acid mine drainage, water quality, and more.
  • Benthic Portal
    • Description: Cacapon Institute's portal offers a variety of learning activities related to stream surveys and macroinvertebrate identification.
  • Interactive Verification Program
    • Description: This web page will serve as your entry to interactive pages to verify identifications of aquatic insects to the Family level. Pictures are provided for you to match to your specimen.

ID Guides

  • Dichotomous Key
    • Description: Stroud Water Research Center dichotomous key.
  • Dichotomous Key
    • Description: Minnesota Division of Natural Resources basic dichotomous key.
  • 2020 WV Watershed Symposium
    • Description: YouTube presentation from the NPS Coordinator which introduces morphological features that aid in the field identification of BMIs.

More Information

  • ID Quiz
    • Description: identification quiz.
  • Effects of Mountaintop Removal on Benthic Communities
    • Description: This document provides a summary of the article: "Downstream effects of mountaintop coal mining: comparing biological conditions using family and genus level macroinvertebrate bioassessment tools” by: G.J. Pond, M.E Passmore, F.A. Borsuk, L. Reynolds and C.J Rose, from the US EPA's Wheeling field office.
  • BMI Video
    • Description: WVDEP's benthic macroinvertebrate video. ( 28 minutes)