Education visits

Aquatic minibeasts: in the water and under the microscope

In this session

We introduce rivers and the vibrant communities that live in and around them - focusing on the alien-looking aquatic minibeasts (benthic invertebrates) that spend their nymph stages living amongst the river bed gravels. Specimens of all the main families are brought along to the hands on session for children to examine, measure, and sketch. We use top trumps rating cards for each beastie and groups design surveying approaches to test how clean their water is in their samples.


This session is based on ongoing community work being carried out along the River Irwell and tributaries in conjunction with the Salford Friendly Anglers Society.

Stone clinger (Heptageniidae) Mayfly (Ephemeridae)
Left image cropped from "Flatheaded mayfly, Heptagenia marginalis" by Bob Henricks. Right image cropped from "Mayfly nymph (rhithrogena sp.)" by Dave Huth. Used under Creative Commons license.
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